NYC salary transparency legislation is long overdue



Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Imagine this: you are sitting down to do a job search on your computer. You go through LinkedIn listings, Indeed postings and even Google results, looking for just the right job for your current experience and financial needs.

Then, finally, you find a job description for a position that looks perfect for you — a good company, fits exactly within your experience and education level and has reasonable responsibilities and expectations.

But the job listing does not include what salary you would be receiving if you were hired for the role. You will only be told what the intended salary will be at the end of the hiring process.

Hoping for the best, you decide to apply anyway, even though you know that you need at least a certain salary to survive, and anything under that amount would not be feasible for you. You submit the application and supporting materials, you go through the interview and any follow-up interviews or exams needed.

Finally, you are hired for the job only to find out that the salary is below your minimum required income to be financially stable.

This is a situation that numerous New Yorkers have faced over the years, because, until recently, employers were not required to clearly state what salary the job they are promoting will pay.

Thankfully, the New York City Council passed a bill on Dec. 15, 2021, that requires employers to include a minimum and maximum salary range on all new job listings for positions in New York City. The Council voted 41 to seven in favor of the salary transparency bill.

“Lack of salary transparency is discriminatory and anti-worker,” Manhattan Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, who sponsored the salary transparency bill, said. “Every New Yorker should have the right to determine whether they will be able to support themselves and their family when they apply for a job. It is time to level the playing field and restore some dignity to New Yorkers seeking employment.”

The new legislation applies to any employer with four or more employees, except for employers of domestic workers, who were already required to publicize the salary on job promotions.

It also does not apply to temporary employment positions since those employers were already required to provide salary information after interviewing the candidate.

This is a great step in the right direction for worker equity, and hopefully, the legislation will be scaled up to all employers, regardless of their number of employees.

It would also be a potential next step to require employers to not just provide a potential salary range but instead state the actual intended salary on the listing. There is no real use for a salary range since the new hire could be receiving the minimum of the range.

A range just makes it look like employers are being more transparent by publicizing a potential range for the salary when they could actually just get applicants’ hopes up for a salary higher than the one they will actually receive. This is unfair and selfish.

All in all, the new legislation is a big win for all the people in New York City who are looking for jobs or who will ever be on a job hunt in the future.

“It is long overdue that New York City address the cause of significant inequity in the local hiring process: employers’ refusal to disclose a position’s salary,” Rosenthal said. “Forcing employers to disclose salary ranges for available positions will also help us to more readily identify systemic pay inequities.”

On top of that, the new legislation will just make applying to jobs easier for people, including for Baruch College and other CUNY students, which would be beneficial especially as the city grapples with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Never again will we have to apply to a position not knowing if the money will be worth it. And that saving of our precious time is much, much appreciated.