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New York City Council Amends New Pay Transparency Law

By Douglas Lipsky

In 2021, the City Council passed the New York City Pay Transparency Law requiring certain employers to disclose salary ranges when advertising positions. The law was to go into effect on May 15, 2022, as we have previously written (here). After receiving pushback from various groups over ambiguities in the law, lawmakers enacted amendments and postponed its effective date until November 1, 2022.

What Is The New York City Pay Transparency Law?

The Pay Transparency Law amends the New York City Human Rights Law by prohibiting a covered employer from advertising a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity without disclosing the job posting’s minimum and maximum salary range. 

The law applies to employers in New York City with four or more employees and employment agencies. Temporary agencies are not covered because they are already required to provide salary rangers by the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act. Specifically, the law requires employers to include the anticipated lowest to highest salary at the time a particular job position is posted. 

How Was the Pay Transparency Law Amended?

The New York City Council amended the law to clarify: 

  • Both hourly wage and salaried jobs are subject to the statute
  • Only current employees may bring an action against their employer for failing to comply
  • The NYC Commission on Human Rights has the authority to enforce violations on behalf of applicants

While the effective date of the new law has been delayed, employers should be prepared to defend the rationale of salary ranges for covered positions. 

What the NYC Pay Transparency Law Means for Workers

In short, job seekers will have a more level playing field when negotiating salaries. The new law also addresses race- and gender-based pay disparities. In addition, the salary disclosure requirement will work in tandem with prior amendments to New York State law prohibiting employers from requiring job applicants to provide salary histories. Finally, failure to comply with the salary disclosure requirement may pose potential liabilities for employers, including fines imposed by the Commission and monetary damages awarded in a lawsuit.

The Takeaway

Similar pay transparency requirements have previously been enacted in several states to encourage pay equity, however, opponents argue that New York City’s pay transparency law may actually limit the pool of qualified candidates. In sum, employers now have some breathing room to ensure their advertising policies and job listings are in compliance. In the meantime, it is wise to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to begin updating job postings.

About the Author
Douglas Lipsky is a co-founding partner of Lipsky Lowe LLP. He has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, unpaid overtime, and unpaid tips. He also represents clients in complex wage and hour claims, including collective actions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under the laws of many different states. If you have questions about this article, contact Douglas today.