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New York Salary Range Disclosure Law Goes Into Effect November 1

On November 1, 2022, New York City’s long delayed pay transparency law which will require most New York City employers to disclose salary ranges in their job postings will go into effect. The law applies to both internal and external job postings and covers “any written description of an available job, promotion, or transfer opportunity that is publicized to a pool of potential applicants.”

Any business with four (4) or more employees, at least one of whom is based in New York City, must include a “good faith” minimum and maximum salary for the position/role, determined as of the time of the posting. A “good faith” range is one the employer “honestly believes at the time they are listing the job advertisement that they are willing to pay the successful applicant(s).” The law covers job postings seeking both employees and independent contractors and applies to job postings for remote positions that can or will be performed, in whole or in part, in New York City, whether from an office, in the field, or remotely from the employee’s home. The salary requirement is specific to base salary, whether annual or hourly, but it does not require employers to list other items such as health insurance, time off, overtime pay, tips, bonuses, 401(k) matching or other types of compensation. Employment recruiters must also comply with the law, but temporary staffing firms will be exempt from compliance.

Failure to comply may subject companies to fines up to $250,000. Employers and employment agencies may also have to pay monetary damages to affected employees, amend advertisements and postings, create or update policies, conduct training, provide notices of rights to employees or applicants, and engage in other forms of relief.

The law allows both civil enforcement by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) and private rights of action. The Commission which has enforcement authority will give businesses 30 days to cure any violations prior to imposing any financial penalty. Additionally, job seekers and workers can file complaints or leave an anonymous tip with the Commission which may initiate an investigation. Based on an amendment to the law, only an individual who is a current employee may commence an action against their employer for advertising a position without posting a minimum and maximum hourly wage or annual salary.

Relatedly, New York State’s Salary History Ban, Labor Law Section 194-a, prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s current or prior earnings or benefits during the hiring process. This includes directly asking the applicant or their current or former employer for such information.

The attorneys in Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group are available to help companies address compliance issues and navigate the amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law. If you have any questions, please contact Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, Valerie K. Ferrier at 212 519-5107, vferrier@kanekessler.com, Jeffrey G. Douglas at 212 519-5183, jdouglas@kanekessler.com, or John L. Reklaitis at 212-519-5178, jreklaitis@kanekessler.com.

This memo is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and readers should consult counsel to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances.