NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Salary Transparency Law
On March 22, 2022, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued a fact sheet providing guidance on New York City’s newly enacted salary transparency law, which we reported on in February. The new law makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for New York City employers with four or more employees (including independent contractors) to advertise a job, promotion or transfer opportunity for a position located within New York City without including a “good faith” minimum and maximum salary .
As written, the law goes into effect on May 15, 2022; however, a bill recently introduced before the New York City Council would, if enacted, defer the effective date until November 1, 2022, and exclude employers with fewer than 15 employees (as opposed to the current four employee threshold).
Below are some key take-aways from the NYCCHR guidance:
- Covered Employers – the law applies to employers with four or more employees, regardless of location, as long as at least one employee is working in New York City.
- Covered Advertisements –a covered advertisement is a written description of an available job, promotion, or transfer opportunity which is publicized to a pool of potential applicants, regardless of the medium in which it is disseminated and includes postings on internal bulletin boards, internet advertisements, printed flyers distributed at job fairs, and newspaper advertisements. Additionally, the guidance clarifies that employers are not prohibited from hiring without using an advertisement nor are they required to create an advertisement in order to hire.
- Covered Positions – covered employers should follow the law when advertising for full- or part-time positions 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 home.
- Good Faith Salary Range –”good faith” means the salary range the employer honestly believes, at the time of the job listing, that it is willing to pay to the successful applicant. The salary range must include a minimum and a maximum; and it cannot be open ended. However, these amounts may be the same. In its guidance the NYCCHR offers examples of salary ranges that do and do not satisfy the requirements of the law.
- Defining Salary – the term “salary” includes the base wage or rate of pay, regardless of payment frequency, and does not include other forms of compensation or benefits offered in connection with the advertised position, such as: (a) health, life, or other employer-provided insurance; (b) paid or unpaid time off (e.g., paid sick or vacation days, leaves of absence, or sabbaticals); (c) the availability of or contributions towards retirement or savings funds like a 401(k) plan or employer-funded pension plan; (d) severance pay; (e) overtime pay; or (f) other forms of compensation (such as commissions, tips, bonuses, stock, or the value of employer-provided meals or lodging).
- Enforcement and Penalties – the NYCCHR will investigate complaints filed by the public and may also initiate its own investigations. Employers found to have violated the law may be liable for monetary damages and civil penalties of up to $250,000 and may also be required to take corrective action such as amending advertisements, updating policies, conducting training, and providing notices of rights to employees or applicants.
We will continue to monitor developments relating to New York City’s salary transparency law. Please feel free to contact Natasha Lipcan at email@example.com with questions about this new law or its requirements.
 This bill also would amend the current law by (1) omitting from its scope both general hiring notices that do not reference a particular position and positions that are not required to be performed, at least in part, in New York City; and (2) clarifying that both hourly and salaried positions are covered by the law.
Natasha Lipcan (New York team) is an employment law attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing private employers in a broad range of employee-related matters. She handles a wide range of employment issues, including employment law compliance, organizational change, diversity and inclusion, employment-related agreements, arbitrations and litigations, wage and hour, workplace training and policies, and recruiting, hiring, managing and terminating employees.