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NY Statewide Wage Disclosure Bill Reminder

As we previously reported, on June 1, 2022, the NY Legislature passed a statewide wage disclosure bill. The bill has not yet been delivered to the Governor for signature, but a signature is expected in early 2023. The requirements would not become effective until 270 days after being signed into law. This bill follows New York City’s (NYC) recent enactment of a similar law which takes effect on November 1, 2022. There are also local pay transparency laws already in effect in Westchester County and Ithaca, NY. Once effective, among other requirements, covered employers will be required to disclose compensation or range of compensation to applicants and employees upon issuing an employment opportunity for internal or public viewing, or upon employee request.

Despite progress, statistical pay gaps for minority groups persist across the nation and in New York State. For example, you may be aware that in the 1960s, U.S. women generally earned 60 cents to every dollar earned by men. This gap has remained approximately 80 cents to the dollar since 2015. American Indian, Hispanic, and Black men and women earned less than white women and had even larger wage gaps relative to white men.

The intent of the NY wage disclosure 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 as pay secrecy remains a key contributing factor in perpetuating wage inequality and discrimination. Mandating employers to disclose compensation information at the start of the hiring, promotions or transfer process will empower workers with critical information and leverage needed to negotiate fair salaries to minimize these discriminatory practices, in addition to, reducing discriminatory wage-setting and hiring practices.

Median Earnings in New York by Gender and Race and Ethnicity, 2019

Source: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/despite-progress-pay-gap-women-persists

Covered employers include:

  • Any person, corporation, limited liability company, association, labor organization or entity employing four or more employees in any occupation, industry, trade, business or service, or any agent thereof and;
  • Any entity acting as an employment agent or recruiter, or otherwise connecting applicants with employers, provided that “employer” shall not include a temporary help firm as defined by NY labor law

Employment opportunities include: job openings, promotions, or transfer opportunities

Job descriptions: must also be included in each employment opportunity listing, if one exists

Range of compensation: employers may post the actual compensation for the opportunity, or a range of compensation. “Range of compensation” means the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation for a specific opportunity that the employer in good faith believes to be accurate at the time of the posting of an advertisement for such opportunity.

No retaliation: Employers will be prohibited from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employ or otherwise retaliate against an applicant or current employee for exercising any rights under this law.

Recordkeeping: Employers will be required to keep records that show history of compensation ranges for each job opportunity and the job description for the position. 

Commission: For commission-only jobs, employers will be able to comply with this law by including a general statement in the job postings that confirms the compensation will be based on commission.

Out-of-state remote workers: This law will apply to any job that can or will be performed, at least in part, in New York. Employers that open their job postings to remote candidates that may or may not end up residing in NYS upon hire, will need to comply with the wage disclosure law in their job advertisement.

Generic help wanted signs: may not need to include a compensation range if there is no specific job mentioned. As soon as a job title is listed on the sign, at minimum, the compensation range must be listed, along with the job description(s), if they exist. Employers may consider moving away from posting generic help wanted advertisements.  This is the conservative approach that mitigates risk and aligns with the pay transparency spirit of this law.

Next Steps for Employers

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.

  • Employers will need to ensure that the requirements of this law are incorporated into both external and internal recruitment procedures
  • 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.
  • Review and update job descriptions. For those who do not have job descriptions, consideration should be given to development of a job description for each position. This has long been an HR best practice to assist with recruitment, performance management, and leave administration processes.  Job descriptions will be particularly important in light of this bill to help ensure pay ranges are consistent with the knowledge, skills, ability and experience needed for the job, and to help employers account for any differentials in pay.

The requirements of this impending law may seem daunting, confusing, or overwhelming, especially when recruitment and pay is not the primary focus of your position. Lean on the experts at HR Works to manage the complexities of compensation. Our consultants can assist with compensation services such as compensation benchmarking, job leveling, salary and pay grade development, and more!

To learn more, contact us today.

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.