New York City has passed a new law requiring that job postings state a minimum and maximum starting salary for any advertised job, promotion or transfer opportunity. In other words, the law applies not only to external postings, but also to internal postings for promotion and transfer opportunities.

The New York City Council passed the bill on December 6, 2021, and it became law on January 15, 2022, as Mayor Eric Adams did not veto it. The law will go into effect on May 15, 2022.

Posting a job that fails to include a salary range is now a discriminatory practice under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), which applies to employers with four or more employees. The salary disclosure law, which amends the NYCHRL, gives the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) the power to issue implementing rules and regulations.

The law requires employers, employer agents and employment agencies to include a salary range “from the lowest to the highest salary the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.” The law will not apply to postings for temporary employment at a temporary help firm, as salary disclosures for those positions are already regulated under the Wage Theft Prevention Act.

The law does not define the term “salary,” so absent further clarification from the NYCCHR, all positions, regardless if paid as salary or on an hourly or other basis, are presumed subject to the law.

It is also not yet clear whether the NYCCHR will treat the law as applicable to only those jobs physically located in New York City or whether the law could extend to all jobs advertised in New York City, even if the work location may be outside New York City. Based on the legislative record, it appears that the New York City Council intends the law to apply only to jobs in New York City; however, the regulations are expected to clarify this issue.

Part of a Growing Trend

Several other jurisdictions have passed, or are considering, laws that require salary disclosure at various points in the interview process. For example, Colorado requires job postings to include the salary range as well as the benefits offered for the position. The Colorado law also covers positions that can be performed remotely in Colorado. California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Washington all have laws requiring varying degrees of salary range disclosure. Wage transparency bills are also under consideration in other states, including New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

What This Means for Employers

New York City employers will need to evaluate their current salary ranges and determine whether any adjustments are in order. Not only will applicants see the posted salary ranges―current employees will be aware of new postings as well. If employers are considering increasing their pay ranges to attract talent, they will also have to consider whether any pay adjustments need to be made to retain current employees. As this issue moves to the spotlight, employers should generally review their pay practices to confirm that all employees are paid wages that fall within the intended, and soon-to-be publicly disclosed, pay ranges.