On June 2, 2022, New York State jumped into the pay transparency fray by amending New York Labor Law and adding section 194-b which calls for “mandatory disclosure of compensation or range of compensation”. The bill is currently awaiting New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature. Per the language of the bill, the amendment becomes effective 270 days after it is signed. As currently written, the amendment has very broad reach and applies to employers of four or more employees in “any occupation, industry, trade, business or service.” In any advertising or posting for a job, promotion or transfer opportunity, employers will be obligated to list the following:
- Compensation or a range of compensation, with range of compensation a defined term meaning “salary or hourly range of compensation for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity that the employer in good faith believes to be accurate at the time of the posting of an advertisement for such opportunity”;
- Job description (if available), and
- A general description of other forms of compensation and benefits.
Similar to the New York City equivalent (guidance available here) there are record-keeping and posting requirements. Further, employers are prohibited from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employer or otherwise retaliate against any applicant or current employee for exercising rights under the amendment. The Department of Labor is tasked with promulgating regulations and spreading awareness of the new law. Lastly, the NYS law explicitly does not supersede any local law, rules or regulation. As a result, NY employers that are also subject to local pay transparency ordinances, e.g., NYC (eff. date November 2022), Westchester (eff. date November 6, 2022) and Ithaca (eff. date September 2022) should be mindful of any differences.
As with the NYC salary transparency law equivalent, there are some outstanding questions: As written, the law applies whether the job descriptions are for remote or in-office work, so long as work can be performed by a New York State employee. So, even employers with no physical presence in this state are seemingly subject to this law. Additionally, the Business Council of New York State expressed concerns about the law’s application to businesses as small as four employees and has urged Governor Hochul to raise the threshold number of employees to lessen the burden on small businesses.
While we await further developments, New York employers of all sizes can take the following proactive steps to minimize their overall pay equity risk and otherwise prepare for this law:
- Create an organization-wide compensation philosophy
- Identify similarly-situated jobs
- Audit regularly and correct disparities
- Review and revise job descriptions and advertisements as necessary to ensure that salaries and salary ranges are based on non-discriminatory bona fide job factors and qualifications, e.g., advanced degrees, etc.
- Review hiring and job offer practices (e.g., how compensation is negotiated, who gets to negotiate it, etc.)
As always, Woltz & Folkinshteyn, P.C. welcomes your questions about this and any other employment concerns that you may have.