On December 21, 2022, Governor Hochul signed legislation establishing a statewide pay transparency law in New York, which will take effect on September 17, 2023 and require employers to list salary or hourly pay ranges for all advertised jobs and promotions. The legislation is codified as part of New York’s Labor Law in Section 194-b. This follows New York City’s implementation of a pay transparency law on November 1, 2022. For more information relating to New York City’s pay transparency law, please see Kane Kessler’s legal alert on the subject at https://www.kanekessler.com/firm-publications/new-york-city-to-require-salary-ranges-in-job-postings/.
Pursuant to the statewide law, any employer with four (4) or more employees, as well as employment agencies (excluding temporary help firms), must include in any advertisement for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation that the employer believes in good faith to be accurate at the time of posting. Additionally, employers must provide the job description for each such job, promotion, or transfer opportunity, if such description exists. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against applicants or employees for exercising their rights under this section. Finally, the law requires employers to keep and maintain records, including, but not limited to, the history of compensation ranges for each job, promotion, or transfer opportunity, and the job descriptions for such positions, if such descriptions exist.
Failure to comply with the statute may subject employers to civil penalties of up to $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $3,000 for a third or subsequent violation. The amount of the penalty will depend on the employer’s size, good faith, gravity of the violation, and whether the employer has violated the statute previously. While no private right of action exists under the statute, any aggrieved person can file a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor.
New York City’s wage transparency law went into effect on November 1, 2022 and other localities within the state have passed similar legislation. The New York State law does not supersede or preempt any local law, rules, or regulations but acts as a supplement to cover areas of the state with no such local law. While statewide requirements are mostly aligned with those in local New York jurisdictions, employers should be aware of the new obligations under the state law. The law directs the New York Department of Labor to conduct a public outreach campaign, so additional guidance is likely to be forthcoming.
Before the law takes effect, there are practical steps employers can take to proactively prepare to comply with the law: 1) conduct an equal pay audit and make adjustments where necessary; 2) assess policies for determining salaries and compensation; 3) review and revise current job postings to ensure each description accurately reflects the salary range and the work being performed; 4) develop a process to consistently publish the wage range for all postings; 5) review application and interview protocols (as a reminder, New York State’s Salary History Ban prohibits employers from asking about applicants’ current or prior earnings); and 6) conduct surveys of competitors’ postings to ascertain whether compensation being provided to similarly-classified employees is competitive.
The attorneys in Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group are available to help companies address compliance issues and navigate these wage transparency requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, Jeffrey G. Douglas at 212 519-5183, or firstname.lastname@example.org, Valerie K. Ferrier at 212 519-5107, email@example.com, or John L. Reklaitis at 212-519-5178, firstname.lastname@example.org.