Employers must include minimum and maximum potential salaries in all job advertisements and postings for New York City positions effective May 15, 2022.

Background

On January 15, 2022, New York City adopted a law requiring employers (and their agents) to include the “minimum and maximum salary” for a position in any advertisements for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity. The New York City Council initially passed these requirements on December 15, 2021, and the bill became law when New York City Mayor Eric Adams did not sign or veto it.

What’s New

Effective May 15, 2022, it will be unlawful for an employer with four or more employees (including independent contractors) to advertise a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity without stating the minimum and maximum salaries for the position in the advertisement. In determining the minimum and maximum salary for a position, an employer must make a “good faith” determination at the time of the job posting of the lowest and highest salary it would pay for that position. Notably, the law does not define “salary,” or how “salary” must be expressed in job postings. The law also does not set forth a geographic scope for coverage, including if (or how) it will apply to remote workers. An earlier iteration of the bill was limited to “employment within the city of New York,” but subsequent amendments removed that limitation.

As the new law amends the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), failure to include minimum and maximum salaries in an advertisement for a covered position will constitute an unlawful discriminatory practice under the NYCHRL.

The law requires rulemaking by the New York City Commission on Human Rights before it can take effect. These forthcoming regulations and guidance will hopefully answer some important questions, such as the definition of “salary,” how to calculate “salary” for workers not paid on a salary basis or those who receive additional compensation in addition to a base salary, as well as the geographic scope of the law.

Analysis

In passing this law, New York City follows a growing trend among states that have passed similar pay transparency laws. For example, in recent years, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island (effective January 2023), and Washington, in addition to multiple local jurisdictions, have adopted laws that require sharing salary information, either through a public posting or upon request from an applicant or employee.

In addition, employers should monitor for developments from New York State. Currently, the New York State Senate and Assembly have introduced legislation (S5598B/A6529A) which would require all New York employers to disclose a salary range “upon issuing an employment opportunity for internal or public viewing or upon employee request.”

Next Steps

Employers should consider taking steps now to comply with the new law, including the following:

  • Determining and documenting salary ranges for all positions with incumbents currently working in New York City.
  • Reviewing existing job posting templates or creating new templates to use after May 15, 2022 (including internal listings for promotion and transfer opportunities).
  • Training supervisors, managers, compliance personnel, human resources, and legal professionals on the implications of the new law—including as to appropriate communications with applicants and employees.
  • Consider conducting a pay equity audit (either for certain positions in New York City or a broader review of current pay for departments with New York City) because salary information provided in external job postings will become public on May 15, 2022.
  • Monitoring for additional rulemaking and guidance from the Commission on implementation of the new law.