HR & Recruitment Efforts – Recent Development in Wage Transparency for Westchester County Employers
Wage transparency requirements for job postings are coming to Westchester County. Starting November 6, 2022, a new Westchester County law takes effect, requiring employers to provide a minimum or maximum salary for any job, promotion, or transfer opportunity in the posting or advertisement for the position. This law serves as an amendment to the local Westchester Human Rights law.
The law covers hard-copy or electronic postings pertaining to specific positions for which an employer recruits and accepts applications. It’s important to note that the wage transparency law does not apply to general “Help Wanted” announcements that do not specify a particular job and just generally indicate that an employer is accepting applications.
Westchester County’s wage transparency law also addresses potential confusion around remote work. The law specifically applies to job opportunities that require work to be performed, solely or partially, in Westchester County, whether from an office or remotely.
The Westchester law bears some similarity to a New York City law regarding wage transparency in job postings that will go into effect on November 1, 2022. Like the NYC law, it addresses employers with four or more employees, defines the geographic scope of applicability, and requires that minimum and maximum salaries be posted.
Employers found to be in violation of the wage transparency law are subject to any of the appropriate penalties listed in Section 700.11 (h) of the Laws of Westchester County. If found guilty of unlawful discriminatory practices, they may face penalties ranging from remedial action to damages and costly civil penalties.
New York State employers outside of Westchester should also be aware of Senate Bill S9427A, which has passed both houses of the NYS Legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. This state-wide law would require employers, employment agencies, and agents to disclose the compensation or range of compensation when advertising any job performed in New York. Unlike previous laws, this law would punish employers who retaliate against applicants or employees who report a violation. Businesses that fail to comply with the statute face civil penalties up to $3,000, depending on their size, good faith, gravity of the violation, and history of prior violations. Additionally, the law would apply to any jobs that “can or will be performed,” at least in part, in New York State. This could mean that the new law will apply to listings in whatever state the employee resides, because the open position “can be” filled by a New York applicant who may work remotely. SB S9427A will take effect 270 days after it is signed into law.
Bleakley Platt & Schmidt strongly encourages employers to take the necessary steps towards compliance before the Westchester County law takes effect in November and continues to monitor developments throughout New York State in line with salary transparency initiatives.