New York City Human Rights Commission Targeting Pay Transparency Violations

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

February 16, 2024

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has brought complaints against at least 32 employers since October 2023 for failing to comply with the city's pay transparency law.

The pay transparency law, which took effect in November 2022, requires employers with four or more employees to include a good faith estimate of the minimum and maximum salary in any advertisement for an available job, promotion or transfer opportunity. Ten states, the District of Columbia and a number of localities have enacted similar laws.

The employers charged with violating the law represent an array of industries, including law firms, hotels, a clothing company, a substance abuse treatment facility, a food distribution company, and several well-known job search platforms.

While many of the CHR's complaints allege that an employer failed to include required pay information in its job postings altogether, others target overly broad listed pay ranges. For example, the complaint against Tesla charges the company with listing four salary ranges that "were not made in good faith." The listings at issue contained posted pay ranges of $18 - $48 per hour, $22 - $58 per hour, and $72,000 - $210,000 per year. Another complaint, against IT staffing firm JK Partners, takes issue with listed salary ranges of $150,000 - $225,000 in at least five postings.

The complaints against job search platforms Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster and ZipRecruiter do not allege that the organizations violated the law in their own recruiting and hiring practices. Rather, they fault the companies for failing to require employers that post jobs on their search platforms to include salary information. While some listings do contain estimated ranges based on the platforms' own data from similar jobs, these estimates are not binding, and the CHR has indicated that it does not view them as satisfactory for the purposes of the pay transparency law.

The complaints, a number of which have been closed, do not seek monetary penalties, but rather direct the employers to come into compliance, make any necessary changes to policies and practices, and provide training to employees, managers and agents.

There is no civil penalty for a first violation of the job posting requirements if an employer provides proof that the violation has been corrected within 30 days of a complaint.