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Update: New York Statewide Wage Disclosure Signed by the Governor

As an update to our prior post, on December 21, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation (S.9427-A / A.10477) into law, establishing a statewide pay transparency law in New York State, requiring employers to list salary ranges for all advertised jobs and promotions. The law is effective on September 17, 2023.

The legislation establishes a pay transparency law in New York State and amends 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 (NY). The law also contains recordkeeping requirements and 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.

The law will apply to any job that can or will be performed, at least in part, in NY; employers that open their job postings to remote candidates that may or may not end up working in NY upon hire, will need to comply with the wage disclosure law in their job advertisement.

Below is a summary of some of the key highlights from the bill.

Covered Employers

The law would apply to:

  • 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 Article 31 of NYLL.

At this time, it is unclear whether other types of employers, such as public entities would be excluded from coverage.

Employment Opportunities

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

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.

Definition of “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.

Job Descriptions

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

Recordkeeping Requirements

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

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.

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.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers will need to ensure that the requirements of this law are incorporated into both external and internal recruitment procedures, and prior to the effective date, employers should examine their compensation practices to ensure that wage ranges for open positions are in line with industry and market data for competitiveness and retention of employees.

Employers who do not have clarity around pay should work to establish compensation structures and a compensation philosophy to reduce pay disparities, and those that do have established pay structures may wish to audit and adjust their compensation practices with the assistance of legal counsel.

Employers should also review and update job descriptions. For those who do not have job descriptions, consider whether to development job descriptions for each position. Maintaining up to date job descriptions is a best practice to assist with recruitment, performance management, and leave administration processes, and in light of this law, will help ensure pay ranges are consistent with the knowledge, skills, ability and experience needed for the job and assist in accounting for any differentials in pay.

Employers should ensure that managers, recruiters and human resources professionals understand their obligations under the law.

Due to the overlap with local laws such as Albany, City of Ithaca, New York City and Westchester County, employers also need to ensure that their practices align with both state and local requirements. Uniquely, the Westchester County law includes statutory preemption language, whereby, if the state enacts a similar law with the same or substantially similar language that the statewide law would preempt local law. 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.

Employers should ensure that they continue to monitor the progression of this law, as additional guidance is expected from the state in the lead up to its’ effective date.

HR Works will continue to monitor and communicate any developments that may aid employers in complying with the law.

How HR Works Can Help

HR Works has a Wage Transparency Toolkit to assist employers with addressing pay equity, pay transparency and wage disclosure laws. The Toolkit provides information, resources and tools for developing compensation structures, in addition to, establishing best practices for compensation strategies.  Current HR Works Strategic Services (HRSS) clients may reach out their HR Strategic Partner for additional information on this Toolkit, and current Virtual Helpline (VHL) clients, may contact the HR Works Helpline to obtain a copy of the Toolkit. If you are not a current HRSS or VHL client, you may contact us at 1-877-219-9062 or for more information on how HR Works can support your compensation needs.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered in Upsate New York, 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.