Bill adds coverage of hourly paid jobs, includes protections for small businesses and non-profit employers, and maintains strong salary transparency
City Hall, NY – Civil and Human Rights Committee Chair Nantasha Williams, salary transparency law co-sponsor Council Member Justin Brannan, and Women’s Caucus Co-Chair Amanda Farías announced newly amended legislation supported by pay equity advocates and the small business community. The bill (Int. 134-A) would amend Local Law 32, which prohibits New York City employers from posting job listings without minimum and maximum salary information, adding coverage for hourly paid jobs and protections for small businesses and employers while maintaining the strength of the salary transparency components. Following an initial hearing on April 5, the amended bill resulted from broad engagement with the various stakeholders that thoughtfully addressed concerns and led to a mutually agreed-upon solution by all parties.
Per the agreement, the updated bill language:
- Adds coverage for hourly paid workers in the salary transparency law.
- Maintains coverage of all employers with four or more employees by removing the previous 15-employee threshold.
- Assists small businesses and employers by allowing for an ability to cure non-compliance before a monetary fine is issued for all first-time violations, codifying the enforcement intent expressed by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR).
- Responds to concerns about language in the initial bill that sought to exclude general hiring posts without a specific position (i.e. a help wanted sign) by removing it entirely.
- Strengthens language to ensure jobs performed virtually in New York or for New York employers are all covered, changing language excluding application of the requirement from “[p]ositions that are not required to be performed, at least in part, in the city of New York” to “[p]ositions that cannot or will not be performed, at least in part, in the city of New York.
- Responds to compliance concerns amongst smaller employers by exclusively using CCHR enforcement and fines rather than permitting private lawsuits, except for current employees in relation to job postings by their employers who maintain an ability to sue. This strikes a balance between small businesses’ fears that they will be needlessly sued and pay equity advocates’ concerns that current employees be able to seek damages in court as appropriate.
- Extends the effective date of Local Law 32 to provide an additional six months before the requirements take effect to provide additional time for improved compliance.
The full bill language is available here.
Local Law 32 aimed to bring more transparency about pay to job candidates, given the studies that show it helps eliminate inherent bias in the setting of employee salaries. The law was passed in the final month of the last legislative session and had not yet gone into effect.
“Salary transparency is incredibly critical in ensuring that we are closing the wage gap” said Council Member Nantasha Williams, prime sponsor and Chair of the Council’s Civil and Human Rights Committee. “As a strong advocate for women and MWBEs, I understand the need to list salary ranges in job descriptions while also protecting our small businesses. Our MWBES are still recovering from the hardships of COVID-19 and should not be penalized while they are picking up the pieces. These amendments will level the playing field and will hold big businesses accountable for shortchanging their employees, many of whom are women and people of color. Additionally, the bill expands the requirement of listing salary ranges for those who work for an hourly wage instead of only for those on an annual salary. I would like to thank the advocates, and my colleagues for their passion on this bill and willingness to have fruitful conversations. I would also like to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for her leadership.”
“As the proud prime co-sponsor of the original salary transparency bill, the successful implementation of the law is paramount to advancing pay equity,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Committee on Finance. “By bringing together the stakeholders on all sides to support this law, we achieved something extraordinary here in New York City that will foster the long-term effectiveness of our salary transparency law. I am thankful to advocates, former Council Member Helen Rosenthal, and the small business community for working with us. I also want to applaud the work of Council Member Nantasha Williams in facilitating an ideal legislative process that is inclusive and responsive to stakeholders, bringing everyone to the table to reach a mutual agreement. All New Yorkers will benefit from the broad support for this law, but especially those who have long faced wage inequities, making this a huge step forward for New York City.”
“Today is an important day for workers everywhere, but especially our women in the workforce,” said Council Member Amanda Farías, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus and Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “As a woman of color, I know that transparency in the hiring process matters. That is why I believe fighting for policies, such as salary range disclosure, strengthen worker protections for women and people of color. Salary ranges show us where we stand next to our peers when it comes to compensation. While there may be some individual companies that are paying Black and Brown women their full worth, statistically, the overall wage gap still persists across all sectors. Women of color are worth more than 64 or 56 cents to every dollar. Our society is dependent upon women continuing to work in essential services, yet we as women are not valued as essential workers. This is why I am proud to collaborate with my colleagues on the best way to make that happen through Intro 134-A. Thank you to Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights, Nantasha Williams and Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Finance, Justin Brannan for their leadership on this bill, its hearing process, and amendments. Lastly, thank you to all the advocates and union leaders for their tireless work towards this effort and the preservation of the most important aspects of the bill.”
“We are pleased that the New York City Council heard the concerns of advocates and workers, took them seriously, and made meaningful changes to Int 134,” said Beverly Neufeld, President of PowHer New York, a statewide network of organizations and individuals working together to accelerate economic equality. “We look forward to working with the Council on additional pay equity legislation to fulfill the goal of eliminating the race and gender wage gap.”