HR Alert: New Requirements for Job Ads May Be Coming Soon

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Attention employers and hiring managers:  Proposed New York State legislation will establish new requirements for what you must include in advertisements for job openings.

What will this law require from employers and hiring agencies?  Senate Bill 9427-A has passed both the State Senate and State Assembly and is now waiting to be signed into law by Governor Hochul.

If the Governor signs it, the law will become effective nine months (270 days) after her signature.  The Legislature believes that pay secrecy remains a key contributing factor in pay inequity, particularly for women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ workers across the State. So their solution is shining the light on compensation, making it readily available and accessible to all.

Requiring additional pay transparency is intended to empower workers with critical information. Once signed into law, the legislation will require that any job ad includes either the exact compensation or a range of compensation as well as a job description.

These two pieces of information will become necessary for any job, promotion, or transfer opportunity, meaning this applies to both internal or external hiring.

If enacted, the law will apply to any company that employs four or more employees as well headhunters, hiring agencies and recruiters. The Senate bill explains that the range of compensation should be the minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay for the position. Employers must act with good faith and give a range they believe to be accurate for the position. This means employers or hiring agents can’t list a very low minimum and/or very high maximum on a job posting and therefore delay the important compensation decision until later.  Rather, they have to show their good faith effort by providing an accurate compensation range at the time the ad is posted.

Note that a similar law already exists in New York City, effective November 1, 2022.

Are there teeth to the State law?  Yes, and it’s in the form of a complaint process and potential fine.  If a prospect feels that a job ad violates of this law, they can file a complaint with the New York Department of Labor, and then an employer may be charged a fine if it’s found to be in violation of this law.

What should employers do now? The good news is this bill hasn’t been signed into law yet, so employers have time to prepare for the anticipated change, so long as they’re outside of New York City.

First, ensure that your current employees are being adequately and equitably compensated for their positions, because they’re going to start seeing these ads, too. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if current employees become upset if they find their pay to be less than what you identify in an ad for a similar job! So, as a risk mitigation strategy, take steps now to ensure your current employees are being compensated fairly.

The bill recommends that employers keep a record of compensation ranges for each job, promotion, and transfer opportunity. Moreover, to avoid any discrepancies employers should maintain a running list of job descriptions for each position. Having job descriptions for each position within the company will make it clear what is expected out of each employee; therefore, clarifying why positions are compensated differently. Compiling a list of compensation ranges and job descriptions to ensure equity amongst employees is something that employers can begin doing now. It is best practice to act now to allow for a smooth transition once this law goes into effect.

If you have questions about this or other existing or proposed legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out. The Coppola Firm can help answer questions and assist in creating an efficient and compliant approach to New York employment law.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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