May 2, 2022 - Economy

NYC pushes back pay transparency law to the fall

Illustration of the inside of a NYC subway train with a map covered in dollar signs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Job listings could get much more interesting in New York City this fall. Starting Nov. 1, employers will be required to post the maximum and minimum salary for a role, so you can actually know how much a job pays before you take that interview.

Why it matters: This is quickly becoming a thing. Salary transparency is believed to be a way to diminish unfair gender and racial pay disparities, and more states and cities are doing it.

  • Colorado's law went into effect last year, and Washington State just passed its own legislation. Around a dozen more states are mulling laws.
  • But NYC is a highly competitive labor market, so what happens there will be influential.

The intrigue: New York's law was supposed to go into effect this month, but late last week, the date was pushed back after businesses objected.

What they're saying: Business groups had argued that this law couldn't come at a worse time, when the competition for workers is hot and they want maximum flexibility on pay. Plus, they said it would put small businesses that pay less at a disadvantage.

Advocates for equal pay argued that employers still have a lot of flexibility to post high maximums and low minimums.

  • "This is doable and desirable for employers," said Andrea Johnson, a director at the National Women's Law Center.

People want to know these numbers: Salary range data was ranked the most important piece of the job description, according to recent LinkedIn study.

Zoom out: In industries like the public sector where salaries are publicly available, gender wage gaps are more narrow.

Our thought bubble: Pay transparency in job listings gives applicants more information to negotiate pay, but to truly move the needle on the pay gap, requiring companies to report internal pay data — happening already in the UK — could be even more impactful.

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