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Pay Transparency Law goes into effect in NYS on Sunday

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Beginning Sunday, employers across New York State have to list salary or salary range for job postings. It’s called the Pay Transparency Law, and was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in December 2022.

Advocates said the goal is to empower job seekers, while addressing pay inequity.

Jared Cook, attorney with Tully Rinckey, said the law does two things. It provides more transparency for job postings and pay. And, it requires employers to keep records of all postings, so they can prove they’re following the law.

Cook said the new law will help applicants know exactly what they’re applying for. He said it’s also beneficial for employers who pay competitive wages.

“If you are an employer, you’re advertising for a job, putting up a posting, you got to make sure you have the pay range in there, you gotta also make sure that you’re not just throwing up a placeholder, to say, well you know anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000, you have to make a good faith effort.”

So what led to Hochul signing this into effect?

Well, for years, Cook said he’s worked with people who felt misled by applications, or who went through rounds of interviews, only to be offered salaries lower than what was advertised.

“That happens all the time,” he said. “Also a lot of cases where they’ll get the job, negotiate a salary, and find out years later, that they’re being paid less for doing the same job as somebody else.”

Even in 2023, Cook said studies still show people are paid differently based on gender and race, whether the employer is aware of it or not.

“If you look across the board and see what are we paying folks for these jobs, you often will see that an unconscious bias that will come out,” he said. “It will be a lot easier to know, if you’re being paid less than other people doing the same work, but just maybe the skin color is different or gender is different.”

Not everyone wants to jump on board this fast, though. In a statement, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s senior director of HR Kathy Richmond said it remains to be seen whether the new law will make a difference in pay inequity and discrimination.

“But it will certainly start some conversations that hopefully lead to a better workplace, which is good for business,” said Richmond.

Richmond said employers will have to explain why new employees may be paid more than someone who’s been there for several years. And, morale will likely be impacted, as employers work to convince employees they’re valued, regardless of pay rate.

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