Sunday, October 2, 2022

After employers complain, NYC will push back legislation requiring wage transparency

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Help wanted. The job: To put into practice one of the nation’s far-reaching wage disclosure laws. Location: New York City.

Just four months ago, city lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to require multiple ads for jobs in the country’s most populous city, in the name of giving job applicants — especially women and people of color — fair Better shot given at pay. But lawmakers on the verge of implementing the measure are likely to vote on Thursday to postpone it by five months, after red flags were raised by employers.

Read more: Does salary sharing in job postings help bridge the gender pay gap?

The debate marks a major test for America’s growing slate of “paying transparency” laws. And the answer seems simple to Brooklyn restaurant server Elizabeth Stone.

“I believe I deserve to know how much I can earn as a waitress,” she said.

Stone has scoured job ads that are silent about pay, leaving her wondering whether she should try to move on from an employer she likes but wants to pay more, and is feeling That he has no benefit for increment.

“You don’t want to upset your employer and scare off an opportunity, but you want to fight for what you know you’re in for a really challenging position,” said 23-year-old Stone, a member of the restaurant. Workers Advocacy Group ROC United.

In the past four years, at least seven states from California to Connecticut and at least two cities beyond New York — Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio — began demanding employers to disclose salary information to job seekers under certain circumstances. have make. In many cases, this means on request and/or after an interview, and there are discounts for small businesses.

Colorado broke new ground with a 2019 law requiring salary limits in all job postings.

New York City’s new law is similar but only applies to employers with four or more workers. This accounts for about 1/3 of employers, according to state labor department figures, but the city accounts for about 90% of workers.

The law states that any job notice, from online advertising to internal company bulletin boards, must state the minimum and maximum wage an employer “believes in good faith” will pay. If the “goodwill” plan changes, there is no limit to how wide the range can be, nor is there a bar to deviate from it.

The laws have been driven by a slowly shrinking but stubborn discrepancy: The median wage for full-time female workers was about 83% of what men made in 2021, according to federal data.

Federal statistics show that women earn less than their male colleagues in almost all areas, with few exceptions in areas such as social work done in health care settings.

Pay-transparency requirements are “one of the most powerful tools we have to change those gaps,” said Beverly Neufeld, president of Pohr New York, an economic equality advocacy group. He argues that workers get an equal opportunity, while businesses increase efficiency by bringing in qualified applicants for the pay on offer.

Indeed, many employers already advertise what they pay for.

Others say they have good reasons not to.

Political consultant Amelia Adams said she strives to make her small, minority-owned business a good place to work, with health benefits, opportunities to work directly with clients and the best pay she can make. . But she often doesn’t advertise salaries for fear of being fired before job seekers have a chance to talk.

“Putting the salaries of small, minority and women-owned businesses publicly gives a stigma that we’re not competitive,” said Adams, who has four employees at the New York City-based business.

Nonprofit organization consultant Yolanda F. Similar concerns were voiced after Johnson founded a professional group, Women of Color in fundraising and philanthropy, that began requiring salary information in her job board positions last fall.

Johnson argues that instead of obscuring pay, the solution is fundraising and budgeting other work.

“If you think people are going to pass you by,” she said, “there are a lot of different things to becoming a successful nonprofit where, in return, you can pay people equally. “

While smaller companies and nonprofits worry they will lose applicants, some large corporations are uneasy about posting New York City salaries for jobs that can be done from low-cost locations. Some even fear a flurry of resignations or sacking existing employees to see what new employees can get.

“Your current population is saying, ‘Well, if that’s the limit, why do I fall on the lower side or the middle side? … (and) now I can see, as an employee of X firm, What an employee of Y Firm is making,” said Ian Carleton Schaefer, a New York employment attorney who represents sports, entertainment, technology and other companies.

He advises clients to prepare for the new law by ensuring that their current pay structure is reasonable, and raises if it is not. Regardless, some sought-after employers may decide to stop advertising jobs and instead rely on unsolicited resumes and other recruitment methods, or Schaefer to choose which positions they post and where. he said.

After Colorado’s law went into effect last year, some large companies posted jobs for workers anywhere except Colorado. The state labor and employment department did not respond to inquiries about the law’s implications.

New York lawmakers are now proposing to change their law to completely exempt actions taken elsewhere and move the effective date from May 15 to November 1. A vote is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in the city council, where legislation does not normally come. floor without sufficient support to pass.

But lawmakers have rejected other changes that business interests wanted, such as generic “help wanted” signs and exempting businesses with fewer than 15 employees.

Details aside, pay transparency only goes so far, notes all-women Barnard College president Sean Beilock.

“Moving towards gender equality in the workplace is a really important goal,” but promotion, management responsibilities and other aspects are important to consider, she said. “I worry that focusing on pay misses a big point.”

Associated Press journalist Joseph B. Frederick contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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