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Pay Transparency Law goes into effect in NYS on Sunday

by Mark Mendoza

New York State Implements Pay Transparency Law to Address Pay Inequity

As of September 17th, 2023, employers in New York State are required to list the salary or salary range for job postings. This new requirement, known as the Pay Transparency Law, was signed into effect by Governor Kathy Hochul in December 2022. Advocates of the law believe that it will empower job seekers and contribute to addressing pay inequity in the workplace.

Jared Cook, an attorney with Tully Rinckey, explains that the Pay Transparency Law serves two purposes. Firstly, it provides more transparency in job postings and pay information, allowing applicants to have a clearer understanding of what they are applying for. Secondly, it requires employers to keep records of all postings to ensure compliance with the law.

Cook highlights the importance of employers making a good faith effort to provide accurate pay ranges in job postings. This prevents the practice of using wide ranges, such as “$15,000 to $100,000,” which may mislead applicants. By providing more specific salary information, the law helps job seekers make more informed decisions, and it also benefits employers who offer competitive wages.

The need for this law arises from numerous cases where applicants felt misled by job applications or received salaries lower than what was initially advertised. Cook explains that even in 2023, studies continue to show that people are paid differently based on gender and race, often due to unconscious bias.

The Pay Transparency Law aims to address this issue by ensuring that pay disparities are more easily identifiable. Applicants who discover that they are being paid less than others doing the same work can use this information to advocate for themselves and address any inequities.

However, not everyone is fully on board with the new law. Kathy Richmond, the senior director of HR at the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, states that it remains to be seen whether the Pay Transparency Law will make a significant difference in pay inequity and discrimination. Nevertheless, she believes that it will initiate important conversations about workplace fairness and ultimately benefit businesses.

Richmond anticipates that employers will face challenges explaining why new employees may be paid more than long-term employees. This discrepancy in salary may affect morale within the workplace. Employers will need to work diligently to assure employees that they are valued, regardless of their pay rate, and that steps will be taken to rectify any existing disparities. Richmond acknowledges that employers are navigating a difficult situation, especially with the potential implementation of increased federal salary thresholds proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

While the outcomes of the Pay Transparency Law in addressing systemic pay inequity are yet to be seen, it is expected to initiate important dialogues and foster a more equitable workplace. By shedding light on pay disparities and encouraging employers to be more transparent, the law aims to create a better working environment for all employees.

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