NYC’s pay transparency law to take effect in November, after Council votes to delay implementation

The New York City Council voted Thursday to push back implementation of the city’s new pay transparency law that had been slated to take effect in May.

The new law — designed to curb longstanding gender- and race-based pay disparities — will now take effect on November 1, 2022. Most New York City employers will be required to begin listing salary minimums and maximums whenever posting hiring notices for most positions after that date.

In addition to pushing back the start date, the Council tweaked the bill to clarify that employers get a warning and 30 days to fix any violations before facing city fines. The law also now clarifies that you can’t sue an employer for not listing salary ranges under the law unless you work at the company and specifies the city’s Commission on Human Rights as the main enforcement agency.

“This legislation took lots of time … striking a balance to reach agreement between pay equity advocates who championed this bill and the small business community,” said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, ahead of the bill’s passage Thursday.

The pay transparency law was passed last December along with an array of other bills constituting the last act of many outgoing Councilmembers. Critics warned it was pushed through with limited public input, days before the end of the session.

Incoming Council members said they wanted to offer another opportunity for feedback and floated certain modifications to the bill in March that immediately triggered outcry from advocates. They feared the changes would carve out huge swaths of the workforce from protections of the law, including anyone who could work remotely.

But the latest version approved by the Council clarifies that only positions that couldn’t or wouldn’t be performed in New York City at all would be exempt from the salary posting requirement.

The law takes aim at the longstanding pay gap between white men and most everyone else. On average women earn 86 cents to the dollar a man earns — for Black and Latina women the gap is even wider, according to 2021 analysis by the National Women’s Law Center. States like California, Colorado and Washington have some form of pay transparency law and the federal government lists salary ranges in many of its job postings. Studies have suggested varying types of pay transparency requirements can help decrease that gap.

Which job postings are covered by the new law?

All New York City employers with four or more employees or one or more domestic worker are required to list salary ranges, come November 1. Temp agencies are the only exception. Certain jobs that are performed remotely and can’t be performed in New York City are exempt from the requirement — say if a New York City company hired someone who was working out of D.C.

What happens if employers don’t post their salary ranges?

The Human Rights Commission starts investigations based on tips from the public that can be reported by calling or (212) 416-0197 or visiting once the law takes effect. Employers have 30 days to list salary ranges if they’re cited. If they fail to change course they could face fines of $250,000 for future violations.