On November 1, 2022, the New York City Salary Transparency Law (“STL”) will take effect and require all covered employers to state the minimum and maximum salary range in any advertisement for a job that will be performed, in whole or in part, in New York City. The STL will affect not only New York City-based employers, but also will apply to all employers with the minimum number of employees or domestic workers nationwide that have at least one employee working in New York City.
The STL covers all employers with four or more employees, or one or more domestic workers, as long as one of the employees works in New York City. Owners count towards the four employees, and the employees do not have to work at the same location and they do not have to all work in New York City. As long as an employer has at least four employees anywhere in the country and one of those employees works in New York City, the New York City workplace is covered by the STL. Employment agencies are also covered by the STL. Temporary help firms are excluded from coverage, but employers that work with such firms must follow the STL’s requirements.
The STL covers any advertisement for a job, promotion or transfer opportunity that can or will be performed, in whole or in part, in New York City, whether from an office, in the field or remotely from the employee’s home. A job advertisement includes any written description of an available job, promotion or transfer opportunity that is publicized to a pool of potential applicants. Advertisements are covered regardless of the medium used to disseminate them, including postings on internal bulletin boards, internet advertisements, flyers distributed at job fairs and newspaper advertisements. The STL covers not only advertisements for employees, whether full- or part-time, and domestic workers, but also interns and independent contractors.
Advertisements must contain the minimum and maximum salary the employer, in good faith, honestly believes at the time of advertisement it is willing to pay for the position. The salary range cannot be open-ended. For example, the advertisement cannot state the position pays “$15 per hour and up” or “maximum $50,000 per year.” If there is no flexibility in the salary, the advertisement can state the set wage the employer is willing to pay, for example, “$20 per hour.” Salary includes the base annual or hourly wage or rate of pay, and does not include other forms of compensation or benefits.
The STL will be enforced by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”). Penalties for violating the STL include a possible civil penalty, paying monetary damages to affected employees, having to amend advertisements and postings, updating policies and conducting training, and providing other forms of affirmative relief. However, the STL provides that a civil penalty will not be issued for a first violation of the law, provided that the employer remedies the violation within 30 days of notice from the Commission. Uncured first violations and repeat violations, though, may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $250,000. The STL also allows employees to sue their current employer for violations of the law.
Employers covered by the STL should review their job posting policies and procedures and revise them as necessary to ensure that as of November 1, 2022, all job postings for positions that will be performed, in whole or in part, in New York City contain the minimum and maximum salary range that they, in good faith, are willing to pay for the position at the time of advertisement, or the set salary if there is no flexibility in the salary range. Employers may obtain more information about the STL by reviewing the Commission’s STL guidance, Salary Transparency in Job Advertisements.