What is the New York State Transparency Law?

September 11, 2023

Just weeks after New York City’s new Pay Transparency Law took effect, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill that will bring pay transparency to all of New York State (we discussed the City’s pay transparency law in a previous newsletter article – see here, as well as the California Pay Transparency – see here, and Westchester County’s Pay Transparency – see here). Effective September 17, 2023, certain employers will be required to include a reasonable pay range within their job postings.

Affected Employers

All employers with four or more employees must comply with the new law. The law is also applicable to employment recruiters, with the exception of temporary help firms.

Posting Obligations

Like the NYC law, the New York State (“NYS”) law applies to all posting for job, transfer, and promotion opportunities. If the position will be or can be performed, in whole or in part, within the State of New York, covered employers must disclose a pay or salary range in the job posting. This requirement applies whether the position is to be performed in person or remotely in New York.

The disclosed pay range should include a minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage, for which the employer believes in good faith to be an accurate pay range at the time of posting. An advertisement for a position receiving commission must also disclose this information in the posting.

In addition to a pay range, job advertisements must also include a job description for the position, if such job description exists.

Recordkeeping and Enforcement

The NYS law also establishes new recordkeeping obligations, in that employers will be required to keep and maintain necessary records to document their compliance with the law’s posting requirements. This may include, but is not limited to, a history of compensation ranges and job descriptions for each position.

New York’s pay transparency law will be enforced by the NYS Department of Labor Commissioner. Alleged violations will be investigated, and violators are subject to civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the first violation, $2,000 for the second violation, and $3,000 for the third and subsequent violations.

Employer Take-Away

With the uptick trend of transparency laws, NYS employers must modify their job postings and advertisements to disclose the range of compensation. As employee salaries continue to rise, it is significant that employers post honest and accurate salary ranges. Although posting salaries can pose challenges for employers, disclosing the pay can set employee expectations and attract the right candidates. This ultimately can limit turnover rates and overall ensure employer compliance with pay transparency laws.

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