Update: On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council passed a bill that, when signed into law, will push the effective date of New York City’s salary transparency law back from May 15, 2022 to November 1, 2022. Stay tuned for other updates to NYC’s salary transparency law, which may differ from the requirements in the original post below.
Beginning May 15, 2022, employers with four or more employees (which includes any owners and independent contractors) must include a minimum and maximum salary range in all job advertisements. Any advertisement that is in print, digital, or disseminated internally for transfer opportunities or promotion is subject to this new legal requirement.
Below are answers to some FAQs about this new requirement:
Which employers does the law apply to? If an employer has at least four employees, at least one of which works in NYC, then the law applies to that employer. All employees do not need to work in the same location and do not need to work in NYC.
Does the law apply to remote work? If the advertised position can be performed in whole or part in NYC, regardless of where the applicant is located and regardless of where the employee ultimately performs the work, the law applies.
What information must be included in the job advertisement?
- Covered employers must state the minimum and maximum salary they are willing to pay for the advertised job. They must, in “good faith” believe, at the time of the posting that they are able and willing to pay within that range.
- Covered employers must post a salary range with BOTH a minimum and maximum amount specified. It cannot be open-ended. If an employer has no flexibility in compensation for the job listed, then posting a fixed rate is acceptable (e.g., $18 per hour or $60,000 per year).
- Note that the salary only includes the base wage or rate of pay, not any other forms of compensation or benefits that might be offered (e.g., insurance, vacation or sick days, retirement plans, bonuses, tips, commission, etc.). An employer may include the additional compensation and benefits, but the new law does not require it to.
What are the financial penalties for non-compliance? Compensatory and punitive damages are available to affected employees, together with attorney’s fees and costs. In addition, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) is authorized to impose civil penalties of up to $250,000 for willful violations of the law.
Employers should keep in mind that they are not prohibited from hiring without an advertisement. The law only applies if there is a written description of the job for advertisement purposes.
Do note that there is a possible amendment that would narrow this new law. On March 24, 2022, the NYC Council proposed a bill to amend the salary transparency law. The amendments include:
- revising the number of employees from four or more to 15 or more;
- changing the effective date from May 15, 2022 to November 1, 2022;
- excluding remote positions that are advertised as fully remote and able to be performed anywhere; and
- excluding general advertisements that an employer is hiring when there is no reference to a particular position.
As of the time this post, there has not yet been a vote on these proposed amendments. In the meantime, employers should make efforts to comply with the law’s current requirements on May 15. The NYCCHR’s detailed fact sheet with guidance on the new law (in its current form) is available here.