April 18, 2023

New York State Amended the Pay Transparency Law - Here's What Employers Need to Know

New York State Amended the Pay Transparency Law - Here's What Employers Need to Know

In December of 2022, New York state passed a pay transparency law designed to give job applicants more information about jobs they are applying to. Three months after the legislation was signed into law, the state legislature passed amendments to the law, making a number of changes to the original text.

Recap: What is the New York Pay Transparency Law?

The New York Pay Transparency Law is a state law that was enacted to promote pay equity by prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on their salary history. The law requires New York employers to:

  • Include a compensation range in all advertisements for new jobs, promotions and transfer opportunities
  • Include the job description in the posting or advertisement, if a job description exists
  • Maintain records of the history of compensation ranges for each position, as well as job descriptions for each position to the extent they exist

The law also includes an anti-retaliation provision that prohibits an employer from refusing to interview, hire, promote, or employ an applicant or current employee for exercising any right provided by the law.

The law applies to employers located in New York State with four or more employees and takes effect September 17, 2023.

New Amendments to the Law

In March, the New York State legislature approved amendments to the text, which Governor Hochul signed into law. The amendments clarify exactly which positions are covered by the law, expands the definition of “advertising” and removes the recordkeeping requirements. 

Clarification on Covered Positions

The original text of the law did not specify exactly which jobs New York employers must post compensation ranges and job descriptions for. Many employers were left wondering if all posted positions required these disclosures, or if the disclosures are only required for New York-based positions. The amendments clarify that these disclosures are required for any job, promotion, or job opportunity that “will physically be performed outside of New York but reports to a supervisor, office, or other site in New York.” 

Expansion of the Definition of “Advertising”

The amendments expand the definition of “advertising” to include positions that are made “available to a pool of potential applicants for internal or public viewing, including electronically, a written description of an employment opportunity.” This amendment ensures that both internal and external positions, whether advertised electronically or on paper are covered by the law.

Removal of Recordkeeping Requirements

As discussed above, the original law required employers to keep a record of: (1) the history of compensation ranges for each job, promotion, or transfer opportunity; and (2) the job descriptions for such positions. The amendments eliminate this requirement, which many employers viewed as vague.  

Guidance for Employers

While the amendments clarified and simplified some requirements of the law, there is still some uncertainty around what compliance looks like for employers. The New York State Commissioner of Labor is empowered to issue regulations that may provide clearer guidance before the law takes effect.

Employers should also be mindful of the differences between the New York state law, the New York City law, and other state laws, as these laws often overlap but differ slightly.

The law does not give individuals a right to file a private lawsuit for violations of the law, but they may file a complaint with the Commissioner of Labor. In addition, failure to comply with the law can result in civil penalties of up to $3,000.

Trust the Employment & Labor Attorneys at PN Lawyers 

The Employment & Labor Law department at Pardalis & Nohavicka represents both individuals and businesses in the fields of employment and labor law. Our mission is to ensure fair treatment and safety for both the employees and employers. For help navigating the New York pay transparency law and other compliance issues, get in touch with an employment attorney today by calling 212-213-8511.

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