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NY Legislature Passes Statewide Wage Disclosure Bill

On June 1, 2022, the NY Legislature passed a statewide wage disclosure law (Senate Bill S9427A / Assembly Bill A10477). The bill has not yet been delivered to the Governor for signature and would not become effective until 270 days after being signed into law. The purpose of this bill is to address systemic pay inequity and discrimination through increased pay transparency by requiring employers to disclose critical information about compensation upon issuing a new job opportunity, promotion or transfer. Below is a summary of some of the key highlights of the bill.

Covered Employers

The law would apply to all employers with four or more employees, except those defined as temporary help firms.

Requirements of the Law

The law would amend the New York Labor Law (NYLL) by adding a new Section 194-b, which requires employers to disclose compensation ranges in job, promotion, and transfer advertisements for internal or public viewing or upon employee request for any position that can or will be performed, at least in part, in the state of New York.

The law also contains non-retaliation provisions which prohibit employers from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employ or otherwise retaliate against an applicant or current employee for exercising their rights under the law.

Definition of “Range of Compensation”

The bill defines “range of compensation” as “the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation” for the specific job. Employers would be permitted to set this minimum and maximum based on what they “in good faith believe” the highest and lowest range would be at the time of the advertisement.

Failure to Comply

Employers that violate the law would be subject to civil penalties of $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $3,000 for a third or any subsequent violations.

Additional Information

This bill comes on the heels of New York City’s (NYC) recent enactment of a similar law which takes effect on November 1, 2022. Unlike the NYC law, the statewide law would require that any posting for an individual who is going to be paid solely on a commission basis contain a general statement that the compensation would be based on commission. Furthermore, if a job description for the posted position exists, the employer would also be required to include the description in the advertisement.

The NY DOL Commissioner is also expected to issue regulations on or near the effective date. The NY DOL has also been charged with generating a public awareness campaign regarding the law to ensure that individuals are aware of their rights under the law.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers statewide may wish to review these requirements and begin thinking about aligning their practices with the obligations included in the bill. In preparation of this bill becoming law, best practice is to review both their external and internal recruiting practices, specifically, as it relates to posting of open positions and to examine compensation practices to ensure that wage ranges for open positions are in line with industry and market data for competitiveness and retention of employees. In addition, employers should also begin to review and update their job descriptions; for those who do not have job descriptions, consideration should be given to development of a job description for each position.

Westchester County (effective November 6, 2022) and the City of Ithaca (effective September 1, 2022) are the two newest jurisdictions in the State of New York to require the disclosure of the salary or hourly wage in a job posting for the respective position. Additionally, due to the overlap with NYC law, NYC employers also need to ensure that their practices align with both state and local requirements. In addition, multistate employers should note that several states and localities have enacted similar laws, resulting in multistate employers needing to be cognizant of any other applicable state or local laws for workers in other jurisdictions.

Due to the ever-increasing patchwork of laws surrounding this issue it is also recommended that employers consult with their legal counsel on best practices for compliance.

HR Works will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and provide updates as more information becomes available. Contact us to learn more about how HR Works can assist you with creating job descriptions to address this upcoming requirement.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.