In NYC, employers now have to list salary ranges on job postings. It could help close the wage gap, experts say. – The Lily – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Soon after former New York City council member Helen Rosenthal (D) started her first job in city government in the late 1980s, she had a conversation with a colleague that she would remember for decades to come, she said.

The colleague — who Rosenthal said was a White man with the same title as her, a unit head in the Office of Management and Budget — told Rosenthal how much he was making: $5,000 more than her yearly salary, she said. (Adjusted for inflation, $5,000 in 1988 translates to more than $11,700 today.)

“He told me what his salary was, and I said, ‘Gosh, that’s more than mine.’ And he said, ‘Well, I told them, I have a family to take care of.’ And that did not sit right with me,” Rosenthal told The Lily.

She brought the discrepancy to human resources, and they “immediately increased my salary to the same amount” as her male colleague, she said.

That experience — coupled with the eight years she spent in a city council that remained male-dominated until this year, when Rosenthal’s tenure officially ended — inspired her to author a bill mandating that New York City employers with four or more employees incorporate into job listings the salary range they’d pay “in good faith” for the role. The council passed the bill last month.

The legislation is part of a wave of similar pay transparency bills that have recently passed throughout the country: Last year, Colorado instituted a law requiring employers throughout the state to include compensation — defined as salary, benefits and bonuses — in job postings. Since 2019, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, California, Nevada and Connecticut have also passed state laws that, in various ways, codify workers’ rights to pay transparency during the hiring process. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Experts characterize the bills as key tools that, coupled with other pay equity policies, can help combat the gender wage gap for women job-seekers and workers.

“It does chip away at issues around pay inequity, [and] can go a long way towards closing the pay gap,” C. Nicole Mason, president and chief executive of the


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