New York City Employers Will Soon Need to Disclose Salary Ranges on Job Postings

On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill (Int. 1208-B) that requires New York City employers with four or more employees (including independent contractors) to disclose minimum and maximum salary information in job postings.  Due to Mayor Eric Adam’s decision not to veto the bill, the bill was signed into law on January 15, 2022.  The salary posting requirements become effective for covered employers on May 15, 2022.

The new law makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for a covered employer to share a job posting or promotion or transfer opportunity without disclosing the minimum and maximum salary information. Specifically, the New York City Human Rights Law (the “NYCHRL”) is now amended to read as follows:

“It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employment agency, employer, employee or agent thereof to advertise a job, promotion or transfer opportunity without stating the minimum and maximum salary for such position in such advertisement. In stating the minimum and maximum salary for a position, the range may extend from the lowest to the highest salary the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion or transfer opportunity.”

Notably, the law also applies to a covered employer’s internal hiring process for an internal promotion or transfer opportunity.  The law, however, does not apply to job postings for temporary employment at a temporary help firm.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) is authorized to impose civil penalties of up to $125,000 for an unlawful discriminatory practice.  Without further guidance from the Commission (see our note on that below), it is unclear whether this penalty could be assessed on a per job advertisement basis.  Additionally, individuals can sue and recover monetary damages, including punitive damages, for violations of the NYCHRL.

Covered employers should begin to prepare to comply with the above salary posting obligations as of May 15, 2022.  The law authorizes the Commission to develop regulations and guidance to implement the new law.  Given the various ambiguities within the law, it is expected that the Commission will issue such guidance and regulations regarding the salary posting obligations before the May 15, 2022 effective date.  For example, the term “salary” is not defined, so it remains unclear whether the advertisement must include a range for base salary or total compensation.  Also, while the law will certainly apply to positions to be performed within New York City, it is unclear whether the law will apply to positions offered by a covered New York City employer that are not geographically located within New York City.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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