As of September 17, 2023, most private-sector employers in New York State will be required to post a job description and pay range for any job opening, promotion or transfer opportunity the employer advertises.
Governor Hochul’s signing of the new pay transparency legislation into law comes on the heels of New York City enacting similar legislation, which became effective November 1, 2022. Under New York City’s Pay Transparency Law, all employers with four or more employees (at least one of whom works in New York City) must disclose the pay range for any advertised job openings. Our earlier alert on the New York City law is available here.
Covered Employers Under New York State Pay Transparency Law
The new state law covers any private-sector employer that employs four or more employees. The law also covers recruiters who help prospective employers connect with job applicants. Temporary help firms, however, are not subject to the new requirements.
Job Advertisements: What Must Be Included
The law requires that when posting an advertisement for a job (or an internal promotion or transfer opportunity), covered employers must include a “range of compensation” for the position, as well as a “job description,” if such a description already exists.
The “range of compensation” is defined by the law as “the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation” that the employer, in good faith, believes to be accurate. In other words: job postings will need to include both minimum and maximum possible pay for the position.
If the job posting is for a position which will be paid solely based on commission, however, employers may make a general statement in the advertisement that compensation will be commission-based.
The law adds record-keeping obligations, too, requiring employers to keep records on the history of compensation ranges for particular jobs, as well their job descriptions.
Potential Differences With New York City Pay Transparency Law
Guidance issued by New York City clarified some items that remain undetermined under the new state law. Under New York City’s Pay Transparency Law, employers do not need to provide pay information if a job opening is not advertised. City guidance also clarified that certain information does not need to be included in job ads, such as details on overtime pay, vacation pay, bonuses and other benefits.
By contrast, the new state law does not expressly address these questions. The law directs the state’s Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations further implementing the law, which will hopefully answer these (and other) questions.
Aggrieved job applicants may file a complaint with the Department of Labor. Employers found to be in violation will face civil penalties. The DOL may also require other remedies sought by a complaining applicant.
Impact and Planning
As mentioned above, the law takes effect September 17, 2023. Employers in New York state should start planning now for the changes required to their job postings for positions that could potentially be performed by a worker located within the state.
The law is the latest in a series of pay-transparency laws enacted throughout the country. Employers with locations in multiple jurisdictions, including New York City, Connecticut, Colorado, Washington state, Maryland or Nevada, should continue to monitor whether their business is covered by a growing patchwork of state or local pay-transparency laws.
If you have questions about the new law and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, please reach out to Dan Moore at (585)-419-8626 or email@example.com; Scott Piper at (585)-419-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or to Ibrahim Tariq at (585)-419-8556 or email@example.com.
This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.
Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and Newark, New Jersey.