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NYC Targets Pay Transparency Violations 

New York City’s aggressive stance on pay transparency continues to intensify. The NYC Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) has levied complaints against dozens of employers since the city’s pay transparency law took effect in November 2022. Employers must adhere to the law’s requirements or risk facing substantial fines and potential reputational damage. 

About the Law 

New York City’s pay transparency law mandates that employers with four or more employees include a good-faith salary range (minimum to maximum) in all job postings, promotions, and transfer opportunities. The law aims to close the wage gap and combat discriminatory pay practices based on gender, race, and other protected characteristics. 

NYCCHR Enforcement Actions 

The NYCCHR has been actively targeting employers who fail to comply. Since October 2023, over 30 employers across various industries have faced complaints, including law firms, hotels, tech companies, and job search platforms. Notably, the NYCCHR’s focus extends beyond employers directly advertising jobs, with complaints also issued against third-party career websites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster, accused of non-compliance. 

Penalties for Non-Compliance 

The complaints, several of which have been closed, do not seek monetary penalties but rather direct the employers to come into compliance, make any necessary changes to policies and practices, and provide training to employees, managers and agents. 

Violations carry consequences as follows: 

  • First violation: Up to $1,000 fine.  
  • Second violation: Up to $2,000 fine. 
  • Third and subsequent violations: Up to $3,000 fine. 
  • Willful, wanton, or malicious violations: Civil penalties of up to $250,000; however, there is no civil penalty for a first violation of the job posting requirements if an employer provides proof that the violation has been corrected within 30 days of a complaint. 

Beyond this, non-compliance can cause reputational damage, hindering an organization’s ability to attract talent, especially as job seekers in today’s market increasingly focus on organizations committed to equity and transparency. 

Next Steps 

To avoid costly mistakes, employers should: 

  1. Review and update all job postings: Remove any ambiguity around salary and disclose a good-faith salary range for every position, including remote ones. 
  2. Train HR and recruiting staff: Ensure everyone involved in hiring understands the law and requirements for compliance. 
  3. Partner with third-party platforms: If you use job boards or recruitment agencies, ensure they are fully aware of and compliant with the law. Stipulate this in contracts. 
  4. Conduct an internal audit: Assess existing job ads and remove any that violate the law. 
  5. Establish a correction policy: The NYCCHR offers a 30-day grace period to fix an initial violation without a fine. Create a clear process to promptly address and correct any identified inconsistencies. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. 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.