Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect

A new state law that took effect this month requires businesses across New York State with four or more employees to include compensation ranges in all advertisements for job, promotion, and transfer opportunities. The law requires all job, promotion or transfer opportunities physically performed, at least in part, in the State of New York to include a range of pay when advertised.

Advertisements require a range of pay regardless of how or where they are posted. The new law covers any job posting shared with more than one person made internally or to the public. It applies to newspaper ads, printed flyers, social media posts, website postings, anything sent to an electronic mailing list, and emails sent to a pool of more than one applicant. This applies to posts made by the employer directly or on the employer’s behalf by a third-party, such as through a job-listing website.

Pay ranges must include a minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly rate of compensation for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity that the employer in good faith believes to be accurate at the time of the posting. If the employer does not plan to offer a range, but instead plans to offer a single fixed rate, such as $10 an hour, then the fixed rate must be listed. An open ended pay range, such as $10+ an hour is not allowed.

In addition, employers must clearly state if a position is commission-based. A range of pay cannot include other forms of compensation or benefits such as employer provided health insurance, paid leave, or retirement savings. Employers must also provide the job description in the advertisement if one exists.

The law mandates that employers make a good faith effort to determine the range of pay. A “good faith pay range” is one that an employer believes they are willing to pay at the time of the advertisement’s posting. An employer may adjust the range of pay in an advertisement after collecting additional information during the hiring process.

The new law does not require employers to create a posting for every available job, promotion, or transfer opportunity, nor does it require employers to use a specific medium for advertisements. The NYS Department of Labor has begun the process of adopting regulations to implement this new law and answer outstanding questions about the law. The Labor Department has published an Fact Sheet to help explain the requirements of the new pay transparency law.