New York City Employers Need to Prepare for Upcoming Salary Disclosure Law
On January 15, 2022, a bill passed by the New York City Council in December 2021 officially became law. The new law, which takes effect on May 15, 2022, will amend the New York City Human Rights Law (the “NYCHRL”) and make it an “unlawful discriminatory practice” for any “employment agency, employer, employee or agent thereof” to not include in job listings “the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located in New York City.” Once the law takes effect, all employers with four or more employees (including independent contractors) will be required to include in any advertisement for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity the minimum and maximum salary for that position. The disclosed range must be based on the lowest and highest salary that the employer in good faith believes it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer. Temporary staffing agencies are exempt from the law because they are already required to disclose this information under the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act.
The legislative language is minimal, and the City Council has charged the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) with filling in the details through agency rulemaking. Guidance is needed as to the geographic scope of the law (including whether it will apply to remote workers living in New York City) and the definition of the term “salary.” The Commission has not yet announced a timeframe for when it will release further guidance. Since the new law comes as an amendment to an existing ordinance, we predict that any failure to disclose salary ranges will expose employers to penalties and liability similar to those imposed under the NYCHRL for other forms of discrimination, including civil penalties of up to $250,000 imposed by the Commission or monetary damages awarded in a lawsuit.
While we wait on the Commission to release further guidance, employers should begin preparing for compliance by taking steps such as:
Determining (and documenting the rationale for) salary ranges for all positions based in New York City;
Conducting a compensation analysis or pay equity audit; and
Revising job posting templates to comply with the new law.
We will continue to monitor the developments and keep you updated on the new requirements.
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Paduano & Weintraub's Employment Group represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation and counseling. For companies of various sizes, ranging from large public companies to small family-owned businesses, we defend employers nationally, and across various industries, in state and federal actions and arbitrations brought by employees alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation. We defend employers in single plaintiff and collective and class actions throughout the country alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its state and local counterparts. We regularly represent employers in matters regarding restrictive covenants. We counsel clients in risk management by creating proactive solutions to workplace issues. We create and implement compliant and practical policies and best practices to help clients build a workplace infrastructure that balances business needs and legal compliance while mitigating short- and long-term risk. In that regard, we provide effective management-level training seminars and conduct employee harassment training and intervention. Our team responds to and manages the complex issues that arise from workplace crises, including high-profile sexual harassment complaints.