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Pay Transparency At The Center Of New Law That Goes Into Effect In New York City On May 15

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Big Apple has joined a growing list of states requiring more pay transparency.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported Wednesday, a new law aims to help close the gender pay gap.

Back in December, the City Council voted and passed a bill that in January became law. It requires that job listings post "the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York City."

This includes new jobs, transfers and internal promotions.

"The wage gap continues, particularly for women of color in New York," said Beverly Neufeld, president and founder of Powher New York, a nonprofit network of organizations in the state working towards economic equality for women.

"We hope that it will diminish the current, continuing and persistent bias that does affect women, people of color particularly, when they negotiate for jobs, so it makes the negotiation process sort of fairer for all workers," Neufeld said.

But Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit with more than 300 members consisting of business leaders of major employers, argues salary postings don't make sense for many industries.

"This is not a good way to solve the problem of pay parity," Wylde said. "Much of the compensation of many of our high-paid professionals is done in equity and in performance bonuses, depending on how the year goes, and so a salary is only one piece of the compensation package."

Katherine Greenberg, special council at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, says in that instance employers should include more information in the posting about compensation breakdown.

The agency will be enforcing the law.

"Doing a lot of outreach, education. We're going to be putting out some materials, a fact sheet, FAQs to help employers understand and comply with the law," Greenberg said.

"What if someone is in violation of this?" Gainer asked.

"We look at a lot of factors when deciding on fines -- the size of the employer, their sophistication, their access to counsel, they're understanding of the law. So we really try and work with employers to bring them into compliance," Greenberg said.

Fines range from $1 to $25,000, but are considered a last resort.

Gainer asked people who work in New York City what they think.

"I don't think it should be one straight standard for everyone, private and public sector," a woman said.

"Posting the salary would absolutely help," a man added.

"If they don't have the salary, I don't even consider it. In my mind if you're not showing the salary it's probably not a decent salary," added Belvin Williams of Newark.

The law goes into effect May 15.

Temporary staffing firms are exempt. So are employers with fewer than four employees. Pew Research Center found that in 2020 women earned 84% of what men earned.

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