New York Law Requiring Employers to Post Pay Rates on Job Listings Takes Effect

The law is intended to help address pay inequity and discriminatory wage-setting and hiring practices, according to its proponents.
New York Law Requiring Employers to Post Pay Rates on Job Listings Takes Effect
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference prevention of gun violence and public safety in New York City on July 31, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Bryan Jung

Employers in New York have to post the pay rates for new job listings, as a new statewide salary transparency law has gone into effect.

As of Sept. 17, all employers with at least four workers are required to disclose “good faith” salary ranges for any job advertised internally or externally to the public.

The labor law applies to listings for employees working outside of New York who would report to a supervisor, office, or workplace that’s based in the state. It doesn’t apply to government agencies or temporary staffing firms.

New York City, Westchester County, the City of Ithaca, and Albany County put similar pay transparency ordinances into effect last year.

The state now joins others with pay transparency laws such as California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, and Washington.

The laws in Colorado and Illinois take pay transparency even further by requiring employers to alert current workers when promotions and similar openings become available so that all employees receive notice of opportunities that could advance their careers.

Addressing Pay Inequity, Discrimination

The New York State Pay Transparency Law was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Dec. 21, 2022, following approval by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature.

The law is intended to help address pay inequity and discriminatory wage-setting and hiring practices, according to its proponents.

Employers will be prevented from offering job candidates less or more money based on age, gender, race, or other factors not related to their skills.

Employee advocates hope that the change also could help underpaid workers realize they make less than other people doing the same job.

The law defines an “advertisement” as a job posting “available to a pool of potential applicants for internal or public viewing, including electronically, a written description of an employment opportunity.”

The act’s anti-retaliation provision would also prohibit employers from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employ, or otherwise retaliate against an applicant or current employee for exercising any rights.

Labor Law Follows City’s Lead

The new state labor law mostly aligns with New York City’s salary disclosure law, which took effect on Nov. 1, 2022.

Any New York City business that posts a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity must publicly list a minimum and maximum pay range. Employers who fail to comply will get a warning before facing fines as high as $250,000.

According to the state law, any worker who has a grievance against his or her employer for violating the transparency law can file a complaint with the state’s Labor Department.

In contrast to the city law, companies found in violation of the state law can be charged with a civil fine of up to $1,000 for a first violation, up to $2,000 for a second violation, and up to $3,000 for a third violation.

Another difference from the city’s law is that disclosing fixed compensation is still permissible under the state law.

If a new job position is commission-based, employers need only disclose a general statement that compensation is based on commission.

Compliance Concerns

Timothy Domanick, an employment law attorney at the Long Island office of Jackson Lewis, told Newsday that the state has yet to release any detailed guidance on the best way for employers to comply with the law.

“The law is the law, and it’s black and white, but it’s a question of how do you interpret it,” Mr. Domanick said. “We have to wait and see what the state says. In a perfect world, the state will be more so in educational and compliance mode versus enforcement.”

Frank Kerbein, director of human resources at the New York Business Council, has similar concerns about compliance.

His organization has criticized the law for putting a further administrative burden on employers.

“We have small employers who don’t even know about the law,” Mr. Kerbein told Fortune, predicting that there would be “a lot of unintentional noncompliance.”

David Laska, director of communications for the state GOP, told The Epoch Times that more than a half-million of New York’s most productive citizens left New York in the past two years.

“This is one more example of Democrats’ regulatory burdens on small businesses that will only exacerbate that exodus,” Mr. Laska said.

Supporters such as Democrat state Sen. Jessica Ramos of Queens called the law a win for labor rights.

“This is something that, organically, workers are asking for,” she told Fortune. “Particularly with young people entering the workforce, they’ll have a greater understanding about how their work is valued.”

Bryan S. Jung is a native and resident of New York City with a background in politics and the legal industry. He graduated from Binghamton University.
Related Topics