New York’s new pay transparency law got off to a rocky start

Starting Tuesday, businesses that hire workers in New York are required to list the minimum and maximum wage range for a job on any print or online posting.

Proponents say it’s high time companies became more transparent with their compensation practices. Workers hope this will give them more leverage to discuss and negotiate their pay. And the main purpose of the law is to help close the wage gap.

But as the numbers started rolling in this week, New Yorkers started calling out some companies for posting extremely wide ranges: $50,000 to $145,000 for a journalist opening, from $125,800 to $211,300 for a senior technical writer, $106,000 to $241,000 for a post of General Counsel.

In one instance, Citigroup listed multiple jobs ranging from $0 million to $2 million, Gothamist reports.

A Citigroup representative told Gothamist that it has since updated its lineups and that the shocking lineup was an error caused by a computer glitch.

Still, a revised entry for a customer service agent position listed the salary range between $61,710 and $155,290 on Wednesday, before it was removed. A Citi representative told CNBC Make It that the company “proactively reviews all job postings to ensure the correct salary range is listed” and has “temporarily unpublished certain job postings and Will repost when the salary range is confirmed.”

The posting gaffe highlights the many ways that companies can still find ways to comply with the new pay transparency law, whether it is planned or not.

Employers are testing what it means to list a ‘good faith’ range

The law specifically states that companies hiring in New York must post a “good faith pay scale” for each job, promotion or transfer opportunity.

A “good faith” range is one that the employer “honestly believes at the time they post the job advertisement that they are prepared to pay the successful candidate(s)” says the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which enforces the law.

Companies may need to offer a wide range if they’re open to people of different levels of experience and to compete in a tight hiring market, says Domenique Camacho Moran, New York-based attorney at Farrell Fritz. .

A common strategy for companies is to find a target budget for a vacancy and give a range of 20% below and above that point, adds Tony Guadagni, senior director of research at consultancy Gartner.

But a range of over $100,000 could either be a mistake or show that “what an organization is willing to pay for a job can be quite variable,” Guadagni says.

“It’s hard to imagine that the two agencies investigating possible violations of the new law – the city’s Human Rights Commission and the Bureau of Law Enforcement – would in good faith consider a assignment that includes a minimum salary of $30,000 and a maximum salary of $300,000 representation of the salary range,” he adds. But it’s up to investigators to show that a salary range is not of good faith – not up to companies to prove it.

A salary range of $90,000, like the one Citi listed on the amended post that was later removed, is still “extremely wide” and “begs the question of whether this is a good effort.” faith,” says Beverly Neufeld, president of PowHer New York. and a supporter of a new law.

Similarly, wide ranges could reflect poorly on the company’s respect for workers, says Neufeld: “It says a lot about companies when they use potential loopholes. The spirit of the law is to create transparency, and any company with wide salary ranges like that doesn’t create any transparency.”

Avoiding Job Postings Completely

New York City Pay Transparency Law Goes Into Effect November 1

Camacho Moran rejects the idea that companies are deliberately trying to circumvent compliance because doing so could result in legal action that would cost the employer time and money.

In New York, if a company fails to comply with the new law, job seekers and workers can file complaints or leave an anonymous report with the city’s Human Rights Commission. Companies will have 30 days to repair the breach, or they could face civil penalties of up to $250,000.

Despite the uneven enforcement so far, Neufeld is optimistic companies will continue to firm up their pay scales with the help of the public account and law enforcement.

The consequences of the law could prove beneficial for employers and employees. Job seekers are overwhelmingly in favor of pay transparency, and more than half say they wouldn’t apply for a job or company if the salary wasn’t listed, Monster.com data shows. . The sign-up fee could end up being a good recruiting tool.

“It will take some time for people to comply,” says Neufeld, but “over time companies will see this as a benefit, not a punishment.”

Check:

‘The more transparency, the better’: How New York job seekers say visible pay scales will help them

Salary scales hit NYC job postings November 1 – here’s what to know

28-year-old ex-teacher now earns $110,000 – how working for a transparent compensation company helped

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