November 7, 2022

New York City’s Pay Transparency Law Is In Full Effect – But What Is It?

Following in the footsteps of California, New York City has welcomed its new pay transparency law to help revolutionize the job sector. The new law, which came into effect November 1, will mean most – if not all – employers will have to disclose salaries for each job posting. 

Why is pay transparency important? 

Long begone the days of applying for a job with a vague offer of a “competitive salary.” NYC’s new pay transparency law will mean most employers must state the exact salary they are offering employees before starting the hiring process. 

As the world continues to recover from the global pandemic and the cost of living continues to rise, more people are fighting for higher salaries than ever before.

Research has revealed that ethnic pay gaps still impact two in five Black employees. Polls also show that a large handful of people believe employers must do more to address disparities which is why salary transparency is more important than ever. 

The sole objective of salary transparency is to help bridge the pay gap amongst different races and genders. The initiative is significant for Black and brown employees as they are more likely to earn significantly less than their white counterparts. 

It also gives them insight into the medium employee pay across the organization, ultimately creating space for inclusivity and transparency to thrive within the workplace. 

Companies’ commitment to “good faith” 

NYC’s Commission on Human Rights states that the new law will require businesses to prove “a good faith salary range for every job, promotion, transfer opportunity advertised.” The news has also sparked a broader conversation on #BlackTwitter around employers advertising unclear salary ranges that aren’t specific. 

Victoria Walker, travel reporter and founder of the “Travel with Vikkie” newsletter, tweeted her frustration after pointing out that the New York Post had listed a wide salary range that was vague and imprecise. 

“With NYCs salary law now in place, I’ve been looking at some companies’ salary ranges, and I can already see that the “good faith” part of the law is going to be tested,” wrote Walker. “A salary range of $50,00 to $145,00 is deeply unserious.”

In response to the tweet, NYC Consumer and Worker Protection highlighted that they can carry out investigations if applicants report any incident of discrimination or lack of transparency around salaries. 

Companies are being called to do more to hold themselves accountable for ensuring their employees are paid fairly. According to Seher Khawaja, senior attorney for economic empowerment at Legal Momentum, this new law allows companies to undo discriminatory workplace practices. 

“It puts their feet to the fire to think about how they’re setting pay and to avoid discriminatory practices they were working there previously,” said Khawaja. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.