New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed three pay equity-related bills last week, once again positioning the Big Apple as a leader in the fight for fair pay. These new bills arrived just in time for International Women's Day

New York City pay equity package

As found in NYC Council’s 2022 Pay Equity Report, female municipal employees make $0.73 for every dollar male employees make without adjusting for any characteristics. The new trio of pay equity bills aims to ensure equitable compensation across the city’s municipal workforce. 

The first bill, known as Intro 515-A, requires that New York City agency employment plans include compensation information upfront and efforts to address pay disparity. In addition, the bill would ensure that municipal agencies provide workforce data, including promotions, terminations, and departures as well as perform a three-year pay equity audit accounting for gender, race/ethnicity, and job title.

Bill sponsor, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams says that “Intro 515-A will require city agencies to conduct an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparities and occupational segregation.”

Similarly, the second bill, Intro 527-A requires that New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) provides equal access to employment opportunities and solicit diverse applications for municipal work. The DCAS will need to report annually on various, such as participation and passage of City agency training programs and civil service examination outcomes, to meet the bill’s reporting requirements. 

The final bill, Intro 541-A amends New York’s existing pay equity law by specifically requiring that DCAS collect compensation information and provide the data to the city council by means of the Office of Data Analytics. The goal behind Intro 541-A is to bolster current legislation so that governing bodies can more efficiently identify pay disparities within the municipal workforce and collecting compensation data is an effective tool for doing so.

After signing the bills into law, Mayor Eric Adams said, “Our city workers keep New York City moving and work around the clock across all five boroughs to ensure New Yorkers get the services they need. The first package of bills will help address pay disparities within our city workforce, so every worker is paid fairly.” 

At this time, no information has been shared regarding how these new bills will roll out or if there will be penalties for non-compliance. However, given the city’s stance with its new pay transparency law, which imposes fines as high as $125,000 per violation, enforcement protocols are likely to follow. 

Increasing pay equity legislation 

The three-bill passage demonstrates New York City’s united front on combating pay discrimination, and it comes on the heels of significant pay transparency legislation in the city. NYC continues to lead the way in moving towards pay equity for all. 

In November 2022, the city’s pay transparency law took effect, which requires any organization with four or more employees to post salary ranges in job listings that could be performed in the city, including both remote and hybrid positions.

Already the aggressive pay transparency law is netting significant insights, too. New data finds that job listings that share salary ranges upfront cost 67 cents less per click, which is roughly 35% lower than the cost-per-click average. In other words, when job listings provide salary ranges upfront, it not only draws in more attention, it also attracts more of the right talent, which in the long run saves recruiters, and ultimately businesses, time and money

Despite the benefits of pay transparency, many organizations are struggling to adapt. Shortly after the law went into effect, leaders and laggards began to emerge, with aerospace/defense, manufacturing, information technology, financial services, and pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies struggling the most, respectively. 

Shortcomings within the pay transparency law have surfaced as well. For example, the salary range requirements do not account for total compensation, which includes bonuses, commissions, and other incentives which can vary a great deal depending on the industry.

Still, pay equity progress in New York is going well. In fact, a statewide initiative is currently making its way through the legislature. The new law, among other things, would impose pay equity requirements across the state and affect positions that could be performed within New York.

Leaning in with pay equity

Momentum in New York is but one of the many states across the U.S., making progress toward pay equity. California, Illinois, Washington State, Colorado, and Rhode Island, to name a few have all introduced similar pay equity laws for employers and the list is likely to continue growing.

With requirements continuing to ramp up, employers are poised to take a proactive approach to appease increasing pay equity demands. A pay equity audit is the single best exercise an organization can undergo in anticipation of heightened pay equity scrutiny, including both posting salary ranges to job listings and submitting pay data reports to government agencies. And considering today is International Women’s Day, businesses can utilize pay equity audits to embrace pay equity for all genders. 

Trusaic can help employers that need assistance preparing for salary range disclosure requirements in New York City and other locations as well as perform continuous pay equity audits. Our Salary Range Finder® combines internal pay equity audit data with Lightcast external market data, allowing organizations to confidently establish fair and equitable salary ranges for each job.

To learn more about the role of software in complying with pay equity laws, read our guide below.

Navigating Pay Equity Laws With Software