In this article, I will describe the new salary transparency law (NYC) and why it is worthless to you and me. There is one exception which I describe below. Salary transparency is a political game as these things usually are.

Background

As of November 1, 2022, companies with more than 4 people that want to advertise a job that can be performed in NYC will need to publish a salary range. Employers can be fined $250k per violation if they violate this rule.

This is a growing salary transparency trend.  Across the country, 17 states have some form of pay transparency laws according to Sara Schrage from Burkland’s People Operations Group. You can guess the typical ones like CA and CO but throw in Washington and RI also. Colorado’s is the strictest because it must include information beyond a base like bonuses, benefits, etc.

Salary transparency in the Big Apple is pretty lenient by comparison since it only requires a base disclosure (in a range) and nothing else (bonus/benefits).

Law details

Power to the people? Give them back control over their overlords? Hardly. According to CNBC in their article: 4 million NYC workers will now see how much jobs pay before they apply—here’s what to know, we learn:

  • The law specifically states that beginning Nov. 1, “employers advertising jobs in New York City must include a good faith salary range for every job, promotion, and transfer opportunity advertised.”
  • A “good faith” range is one the employer “honestly believes at the time they are listing the job advertisement that they are willing to pay the successful applicant(s),” the New York City Commission on Human Rights says
  • Employers must post the minimum and maximum salary on offer for a particular role when it’s listed on an internal job board, as well as external sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and other job search platforms.

Why is it worthless?

I did a quick search on LinkedIn for recent job posts from Morgan Stanley and others to determine what this salary transparency is all about. I found that:

  • For a Bond Trader at Natixis CIB, the base range is $190k-$280k
  • For a Regulatory Relations VP at Morgan Stanley, the range is $110k-$190k

You can drive a truck through these ranges. Salary transparency? Enough said.

To be fair to this process I did see an Associate/Senior Associate job at a major investment bank with a $10,000 salary range ($140k-$150k). However, I say big deal since salary ranges for analysts and associates have been published for a while now after the Goldman incident. If you want to check out my video on this topic, click “New Analysts Making $150k! What Does That Mean for Your Salary?”

Also, to the extent the company wants to pay your more or less than the range, they will simply change the job title or level within the job title when they hire you.

The one exception

If you feel you are being underpaid, please search for job postings at your exact level. If you see that your base salary is below that of the range posted, then you need to have a conversation with your boss.

Summary

The only way to determine a true salary range is to network since this information is readily available if you ask. Check out my article “You can accurately estimate your salary….”

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