Making Things Clear: Pay Transparency Comes to New York

Employment Law


The most recent trend in employment-related legislation: pay transparency.

New York City has enacted a new law mandating that as of May 15, 2022, employers with four or more employees—including independent contractors working “in furtherance of an employer’s business enterprise”—must state a position’s minimum and maximum salaries when advertising a job, promotion or transfer opportunity.

Temporary employment positions are excluded.

The failure to list the range “in good faith” constitutes an unlawful discriminatory practice and can result in a civil penalty of up to $125,000 per violation imposed by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.

Employers who engage in willful, wanton or malicious violations face penalties of up to $25,000.

Further guidance from the Commission is expected in the coming weeks.

The new law follows in the footsteps of states enacting similar measures in recent years, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Washington. Several other jurisdictions have pay transparency bills under consideration.

Different requirements are found in the various laws.

For example, California, Maryland and Washington only require salary disclosure when an applicant requests the information, while Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act mandates that employers disclose salary ranges in job postings, like New York City (although it applies even more broadly, with a one-employee threshold and even to remote workers).

To read the New York City law, click here.

Why it matters: Sponsors of the New York City law indicated that it is intended to combat wage inequity, similar to the goals of other jurisdictions with pay transparency laws. Employers should be aware of the trend and growing number of states and cities requiring pay transparency.

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