Starting Tuesday, most employers in New York City will be required by law to post salary minimums and maximums in any open job posting.
Advocates are championing the measure as a way to take aim at longstanding pay discrepancies between men and women and between white workers and workers of color. Beverly Neufeld, president and founder of PowHer, which advocated for the bill’s passage, calls it a game changer for job seekers.
“The [salary] information that was being held very tightly by employers is now out in the open,” she said. “It almost creates a power sharing relationship with potential employees. That shift is gonna be uncomfortable and maybe difficult in the beginning.”
New York City joins a growing number of jurisdictions that have enacted some type of pay equity legislation in recent years. States including Colorado, Rhode Island, Nevada, Connecticut, Maryland, Washington and California have passed similar laws, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
While New York City’s law affects just employers in the five boroughs, New York State lawmakers passed similar legislation in June, though Gov. Kathy Hochul has yet to sign it.
Here’s what you need to know.
I’m on the job hunt. What information are companies supposed to disclose?
Almost all job postings online or on signs on storefronts across New York City will be required to list a salary minimum and maximum starting Tuesday. Postings can’t leave the salary open ended, like posting “$15 an hour and up.”
Any job that can be performed at least partly in New York City is covered, whether the worker is in an office or working remotely. There are a few exemptions to this new rule. Businesses with three or fewer employees aren’t subject to the new requirement and neither are temp agencies, though employers that use temp agencies have to post salary ranges. Postings for domestic workers are also required to list salary ranges, even if the employer is only hiring one person.
I’m seeing job postings without pay ranges listed, what recourse do I have?
Job seekers can leave anonymous tips about company’s not listing salary ranges by calling the city’s Commission on Human Rights at (212) 416-0197 or reporting it online.
The company I currently work for is not posting their pay ranges, what should I do?
You can encourage your company to comply with the law if you feel comfortable doing so. Otherwise you can also file an anonymous tip as detailed above. But current employees have an additional protection under the new law: They can bring a lawsuit against their employer for failing to list ranges under the new law.
What happens to businesses who don’t comply?
Companies could face fines of up to $250,000 for not listing salary ranges. However, the city won’t be fining anyone for first violations. Businesses will be issued a warning and given 30 days to fix the posting. Fines will come later if the company refuses to change the posting or posts subsequent openings without pay ranges.
What is the new law supposed to do?
Advocates argue that requiring companies to clearly list salary ranges empowers women and workers of color, who’ve historically been underpaid compared to their white male counterparts. They point to limited research on the subject that suggests jurisdictions and employers that openly list salary ranges have a smaller pay gap than ones that don’t. One analysis of public sector workers in Canada found listing salaries curbed the pay gap between 20% and 40%.
The City Council passed the city’s transparency law last year, and this spring delayed its implementation until November to give the city and the business community more time to comply. But members of the Council, including Speaker Adrienne Adams are pushing for further reforms, particularly for the municipal workforce. A report released by the Council in September, highlighted a striking pay gap among municipal workers, with women earning 73 cents to every dollar earned by male employees. Black, Latino and Asian city workers reportedly earned 71 cents, 75 cents and 85 cents, respectively, to every dollar earned by white employees.
More questions? Visit New York City’s Commission on Human Rights Factsheet.