New York City Passes Law Requiring Salary Ranges in Job Postings

Genova Burns LLC

Genova Burns LLC

A makeover is on the horizon for job postings in New York City. On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed new legislation relating to wage transparency on job postings. On January 15, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams returned this bill without a veto, effectively passing it into law. The goal of the legislation was to reduce pay disparities affecting historically disadvantaged applicants, which follows a national trend.

As of May 15, 2022, employers advertising a “job, promotion or transfer opportunity” in the 5 Boroughs of New York City must state the minimum and maximum salary for the position contained in the job posting or advertisement. The new law also applies to companies employing independent contractors and family members working for the employer. The law however does not apply to those placed for temporary work by “temporary help firms” as defined by NY Labor Law § 916(5)(2015). These firms include staffing firms which hire employees and then assign them temporary jobs to perform work elsewhere.

The new law also requires that employers demonstrate a “good faith belief” when defining the salary range, from lowest to highest, based on knowledge at the time of posting. The law however does not define “advertise” and it does not differentiate between internal or external job postings. In addition, “salary” is not defined, so employers will have to await further guidance by the New York City Commission on Human Rights as the law’s effective date approaches.

Fines & Penalties for Non-Compliance

The law also amends the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) which prohibits discrimination in employment and now makes the failure to include minimum and maximum salary in a job advertisement an “unlawful discriminatory practice.” Job postings without salary range information can be reported to the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Unlawful discriminatory practices as defined by the NYCHRL, which includes the failure to post salary ranges in job postings, can result in fines of up to $125,000. In addition, individuals who bring suit alleging violations of the NYCHRL may also recover damages, including, but not limited to, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs.

Bottom Line

Employers must begin to prepare for implementation with this new law immediately to ensure seamless compliance. Employers should review their pay scales and revise their job posting policies to ensure compliance. In addition, employers should document their “good faith” discussions when setting pay ranges so they can defend against claims for violations of the new law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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