New York Pay Transparency Law

A quick note on New York pay transparency law, and what it means for your business.

From November 1, employers in New York City with 4 or more employees (including independent contractors and owners) are required to disclose the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage that the employer in good faith believes they would pay for any advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity for a position that can or will be performed, at least in part, in New York City.

The law is applicable to advertised job postings, not to all searches that search agencies are engaged to recruit for. An “advertisement” is a written description of an available job, promotion, or transfer opportunity that is publicized to a pool of potential applicants.

Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • The “salary” employers must disclose is the “base annual or hourly wage or rate of pay”, it need not include “any other forms of compensation or benefits offered in connection with the advertised job”. So, the following need not be disclosed:
        – Health insurance
        – Severance pay
        – Overtime pay
        – Commissions, bonuses, and stock
  • If an employer has no flexibility in a salary range, the minimum and maximum salary posted may be identical, however the salary range cannot be left open-ended, i.e., “$50,000 and up.”
  • The law does not prohibit employers from hiring without use of an advertisement or require employers to create an advertisement in order to hire.
  • Employers should be prepared to add the target range to new listings as well as any active listings on the company’s website, third-party job-posting website such as NYFA or LinkedIn and including any listing being advertised by search agencies.
  • Employers outside New York City should ensure they include target salary ranges in advertisements for positions unless the position expressly cannot be performed in New York City. This is especially relevant for fully remote positions that arguably could be performed from anywhere, including NYC.

Here is why SML is behind the salary transparency law:

  • The law was designed to curb longstanding gender- and race- based pay disparities and this aligns with our values.
  • Candidates are increasingly looking for further transparency from employers so we believe our clients will have a better chance at attracting the best talent.
  • It will streamline the process; candidates can better assess their suitability with more information on what the role offers.
  • Pay transparency can also be a motivational tool – we enjoyed this Forbes article on the topic

What does this mean for the way you work with SML:

  • It is at our clients’ discretion as to whether the roles you engage us to recruit are advertised. Searches can be run without advertisement, but it is our standard practise to advertise roles outwardly to engage with a wider audience.
  • Advertising for SML means posting an anonymous description of the role on our website and social media platforms to engage a wider audience and diverse pool of applicants.
  • We will only list salaries on our advertising in instances where it is a legal requirement, we will not require clients to list salaries for roles outside New York, though we do recommend that our clients consider including salary information.
  • Any job we post on behalf of a client for which someone in New York may be hired, whether it is a remote position or an in-person one, will need to include a minimum and maximum annual salary disclosure. We will work with you if you require salary benchmarking assistance.
  • We can approach searches in a more targeted way, we are confident this will allow us to streamline processes for our clients.
  • Next year we will be producing a salary report to support our clients in shaping and building teams and achieving recruitment goals.


New York City’s Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect in One Month – Are You Ready?

Pay Transparency Laws Are All The Rage: Looks Like New York State Is Joining the Party

New York City and California Pay Transparency Laws: What Employers Need to Know

Pay Transparency: What It Is and How to Do It Right


Should you have any questions or wish to talk to our team about this, or anything else relating to your hiring needs, please contact us.