City Council passes amendment to pay transparency law

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City Councilman Justin Brannon (right), Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Councilwoman Nantasha Williams at pre-stated meeting press conference. Thursday, April 28, 2022.
Photo by Ethan Stark-Miller

The City Council Thursday voted in favor of amending a law that requires employers in the city to include minimum and maximum salary ranges in their job postings to make it clearer which positions and job postings the law will cover after getting pushback from small business owners.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said the amendment added language that helped to clarify the pay transparency law – or Local Law 32 – to make it work better for both workers and employers.

“Salary transparency and pay equity have always been a priority for this Council,” Adams said in a release. “The measured changes in this bill improve Local Law 32 by clarifying language and building broad support for New York City’s salary transparency law. 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.”

The changes to the original law – which was passed with a litany of other bills near the end of last year – include adding explicit language that applies to hourly paid workers, covering all employers with over four employees, making it so fines against employers can only be levied by the city and not through individual lawsuits and pushes back the law’s implementation date by six months.

During a press conference before the legislation was voted on, Councilwoman Nantasha Williams (D – Queens) – one of the bill’s co-sponsors – said this amendment was necessary to make the law work for everyone.

“After listening carefully to comments from advocates and the business community on April 5 regarding Intro 134, an action that considers small business owners that may have not had the ability carry out the employee valued action in advance as their big business counterparts [could], we have worked to reach an end that reflects the needs of everyone,” Williams said.

Also co-sponsoring the measure was City Councilman Justin Brannan who said, “The livelihoods of New Yorkers are not a TV game show where the true salary is hidden behind a magical door if only you guess the right one.”

“We need to respect that a person has a right to determine whether they will be able to pay rent and support their family when they apply for a job. And there is no question that identifying systemic pay inequities will become a lot easier when all of the cards are on the table. As people get back to work, I cannot think of a better time to level the playing field, and restore some dignity to New Yorkers seeking employment,” he added.