The following article originally appeared in the Northeastern Subcontractors Association August, 2022 Newsletter
Wage Transparency Legislation Passes – Will be Sent to the Governor
At the end of the recently concluded legislative session, “wage transparency” legislation was passed by the State Legislature, which if signed by the Governor, will impact the hiring practices of most NYS businesses. This legislation would require covered employers to disclose the compensation or a range of compensation when advertising a job, promotion or transfer opportunity that can or will be performed, at least in part, in the state of New York. The bill would also require covered employers to disclose the job description for such job, promotion or transfer opportunity if such description exists. For positions that are paid solely on commission, compliance with the bill’s compensation disclosure requirements can be achieved by providing a written general statement that compensation shall be based on commission.
According to the bill sponsor’s memo, the purpose of this bill is “to address systemic pay inequity and discrimination through increased pay transparency by requiring employers to disclose critical information about compensation upon issuing a new job opportunity, promotion or transfer”.
The bill defines “employer” as: (i) “any person, corporation, limited liability company, association, labor organization or entity employing four or more employees in any occupation, industry, trade, business or service, or any agent thereof,” and (ii) “any person, corporation, limited liability company, association or entity acting as an employment agent or recruiter, or otherwise connecting applicants with employers, provided that “employer” shall not include a temporary help firm” (as such term is defined by subdivision five of section nine hundred sixteen of the NYS Labor Law).
The bill would also prohibit employers from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employ or otherwise retaliate against an applicant or current employee for exercising their rights under this new proposed law. The bill would allow individuals claiming to be aggrieved by an employer violation to file a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor. Employer violations would be subject to a civil penalty in accordance with Section 218 of the Labor Law.
Employers would also be required to maintain records of compliance, including the history of compensation ranges for each job, promotion or transfer opportunity as well as the job descriptions for such positions (if such descriptions exist).
The bill also requires the Department of Labor to conduct a public awareness outreach campaign, which shall include making information available on its website and otherwise informing employers of the new wage transparency provisions. The bill provides DOL with the authority to issue rules and regulations to enforce the proposed law.
This legislation will be delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul for her consideration within the next several weeks (or months). If signed, the bill will take effect 270 days after it is enacted. NESCA will keep members apprised of any further developments with this legislation.