The new New York City pay transparency law could help millions of Americans get the pay they deserve.
As of November 1, 2022, NYC’s Salary Transparency Law went into effect in amending the NYC Human Rights Law to require employers to include a “good faith” salary range in all job ads, including promotions and transfer opportunities.
“Good faith” means “the salary range the employer honestly believes at the time they are listing the job advertisement that they are willing to pay the successful applicant(s).”
This law applies to job opportunities 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.”
This is “regardless of whether they are seeking full- or part-time employees, interns, domestic workers, independent contractors, or any other category of worker protected by” the New York City Human Rights Law.
As long as one employee is working in New York City, this law applies to companies with four or more employees (including the business owner). The employees could be working out of an office, at home, or in the field.
Regardless of whether the company is based in NYC, if they are advertising a remote job that could be done by anyone in the country, that includes someone living in NYC and they must specify the salary range.
However, even if a company is NYC-based but is hiring for a position to be done exclusively outside of NYC, then they do not need to comply with this law.
The base wage or rate of pay constituting the salary has to be specified in a range that includes a minimum and maximum amount. Open-ended amounts like $15 per hour and up or $50,000 per year max would not be compliant.
Some salary ranges are too wide and not specific enough. But if you come across some more realistic ranges, maybe with your years of experience and skill level, you may determine your worth is somewhere in between.
For example, if a Software Development Engineer position is offering the range of between $115,000 to $223,600 per year, maybe you can aim for $170,000 per year if you have the mid-range of applicable experiences and skills.
However, this law applies to the base salary and not to other forms of compensation like a bonus and or benefits like health insurance.
People can file complaints or leave an anonymous tip with the NYC Commission on Human Rights if they come across businesses that are not being compliant. Companies have 30 days to fix violations in order to avoid civil penalties with the first complaint. If current employees of companies have a claim, they may be able to file a civil lawsuit.
Companies that have violated the law can face civil penalties of up to $250,000 and pay out monetary damages to affected employees.
This landmark legislation adds momentum to the pay transparency that Colorado has had since January 1, 2021. More pay transparency will be arriving in the rest of New York State and California by 2023.
This law can help a lot of people who have historically received less equitable pay, such as women and diverse people. Wage gaps are still prevalent with women still only making 83 cents for every dollar men make, on average.
Even if you do not live around NYC or Colorado, you can still reference job listings for positions based in those locations to help you form a general idea of how much a position might pay.
Hopefully companies will realize that being more transparent with pay can lead to greater employee satisfaction, and this will ultimately drive productivity and better business results.
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