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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Pay-transparency law coming to NYC hit with delay

The law voted on Thursday by the City Council requires job advertisements to include salary ranges, so that applicants, especially women and people of color, have a better shot at equal pay. 

MANHATTAN (CN) — Just a few weeks before a measure aimed at leveling income disparities was set to go into effect, New York’s City Council voted to push back the deadline for businesses. But legislation passed Thursday also makes it clear that jobs with hourly wages are included in the measure. 

Businesses that employ four or more people must include the minimum and maximum salary or hourly rate when advertising jobs beginning November 1, the council decided in a vote of 43 yeses, eight no votes, and one abstention. 

The new amendment makes it clear that ranges are required even for general hiring notices, and that remote positions are excluded only if no part of the job can be done in the city. 

Business owners now have more time to comply with the law, which extended the law’s effect past the previous May 15 deadline. 

Councilmember Nantasha Williams, a Democrat who represents a district in the borough of Queens, was a primary co-sponsor of the legislation — her first since she was elected last year. 

“Work like this cannot get done without walking in lockstep with the community,” Williams said during the vote. “We have worked to reach an end that reflects the needs of everyone.” 

Pay-transparency laws have gained support in the past four years, with at least seven states enacting legislation to ease unequal pay by making potential earnings public. 

Women earn more than $10,000 less than men, according to research Williams cited. The disparities are even more stark when broken down by race: For each dollar earned by a white man, white women earn $0.84; Hispanic women earn $0.46; Black women earn $0.35; and Asian women earn $0.63, according to Williams. 

“Thinking about these statistics is rather startling,” Williams said, but added that this kind of legislation gives her hope.  

“As a Black woman and the sponsor of this bill, equal pay — and ensuring we get this right — equally important,” Williams said.  

Williams acknowledged that she would go over her time to speak at Thursday’s meeting, adding, “I’m sorry, this is important.” She summarized her work with a quote from the East Coast hip-hop duo Gang Starr: “I’m not new to this, I’m true to this.” A round of applause followed her comments. 

Among those voting against the law was Brooklyn Councilmember Kalman Yeger, a Democrat who also ran on the Republican and Conservative tickets in last year’s election. 

“I don’t want to be a downer on the round of applause,” Yeger said before explaining his no vote on the bill. “It’s fundamentally unconstitutional. Government cannot compel speech.” 

“This will simply require additional words in an advertisement,” Yeger added. “It won't do what we think it will do to create pay equity.” 

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams applauded the amendment. 

“Salary transparency and pay equity have always been a priority for this Council,” Adams said in a statement. “Through meaningful engagement and substantive dialogue with all stakeholders, the Council has arrived at a better bill that can ensure successful implementation of the salary transparency law in the long-term.”

Follow @NinaPullano
Categories / Business, Employment, Law

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