The Latest and Greatest New Pay Transparency Laws

Date   Jan 18, 2023

These days, more and more lawmakers are looking to regulate the amount of salary information employers are required to provide job applicants. On January 1, 2023, California, Rhode Island, and Washington State all had new “pay transparency” laws take effect, and New York State has a new law taking effect in September 2023, following a trail already blazed by jurisdictions like Colorado and New York City. As the regulatory landscape surrounding pay transparency continues to rapidly evolve, HR and compliance personnel have struggled to stay informed. This article offers a brief survey of the current slate of pay transparency laws affecting US employers in the New Year.

Effective September 17, 2023

New York (state)

New York Labor Law §194-b requires all private employers with four or more employees to include salary ranges and a job description for all advertised jobs, promotions and transfer opportunities. For positions that are paid on a commission basis, the advertisement must include a “general statement” along the lines of “compensation shall be based on commission.” The law takes effect on September 17, 2023. 

Effective January 1, 2023


Before the new pay transparency law took effect, employers in California were required to provide applicants with the pay scale for a position upon reasonable request. Beginning January 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees, at least one of whom is located in California, must include the “pay scale,” defined as the “salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position,” in any job posting. The California Labor Commissioner has released guidance stating that the “pay scale” requirement applies to any job posting where the position may ever be filled in California, either in-person or remotely. Penalties for failing to disclose pay scales are up to $10,000 per violation.

The California law also imposes some new reporting requirements on employers. Qualifying employers are now required to report median and mean hourly wages by each combination of race, ethnicity and sex within a given job category to the California Civil Rights Department. The first reports, which shall be based on 2022 data, are due on May 10, 2023. Penalties for failure to comply with reporting requirements are up to $200 per employee.


Washington (state)

Starting January 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees must disclose in each posting for each job opening the wage scale or salary range, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired applicant. A “general description of all benefits” includes health care benefits, retirement benefits, any benefits permitting paid days off (including more generous paid sick leave accruals, parental leave, and paid time off or vacation benefits), and any other fringe benefits that must be reported for federal tax purposes. “Other compensation” includes bonuses, commissions, profit-sharing, stock options, or other forms of compensation that would be offered to the hired applicant in addition to their established pay.

The law defines a “Posting" as any solicitation intended to recruit job applicants for a specific available position, including recruitment done directly by an employer or indirectly through a third party, and includes any postings done electronically, or with a printed hard copy, that includes qualifications for desired applicants.

Upon request of an employee offered an internal transfer to a new position or promotion, the employer must provide the wage scale or salary range for the employee's new position.

Guidance: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (includes a Job Posting Requirements Factsheet).

Rhode Island

Unlike the California and Washington laws, the Rhode Island law does not expressly require employers to post anticipated salary ranges in job postings. Rhode Island requires only that employers provide a wage range upon request. The Rhode Island law also includes language encouraging employers to disclose the range “prior to discussing compensation” for the position with the applicant. 

The Rhode Island law also covers new hires and promoted employees, requiring that employers “provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position both at time of hire and when the employee moves into a new position.” Further, employers must provide a wage range for an employee’s current position at their request at any time “during the course of employment.”

Effective November 1, 2022

New York City

Since November 1, 2022, employers with four or more employees in New York City must provide “the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage” on any job posting (including internal and external openings). Employers are not required to disclose "other forms of compensation or benefits offered in connection with the advertised job" outside of salary, such as health insurance, severance pay, overtime pay, commissions, tips, bonuses, and stock. The law covers any position (remote or in person) that could be filled by a candidate who resides in New York City or any position that could be performed at least in part in New York City.


Effective October 1, 2021


Employers with at least one employee working in Connecticut must provide a wage range to applicants upon the receipt of either: (1) the applicant's request or (2) the communication of an offer of employment, whichever comes first. Employers must provide employees the wage range for the employee's position upon (a) the hiring of the employee, (b) a change in the employee's position with the employer, or (c) the employee's first request. The Connecticut Department of Labor has indicated that the law applies even where the employee is working remotely from another state.



Nevada law requires that employers provide a wage or salary range to any applicant who has completed an interview for a given position. For employees receiving a transfer or promotion, the law requires employers to provide the wage or salary range if the employee has (1) applied for the promotion or transfer, (2) completed an interview for the promotion or transfer, or been offered a promotion, and (3) requested the wage or salary range or rate for the promotion or transfer. Employers can be fined up to $5,000 per violation.

Effective January 1, 2021


Employers with one or more employees in Colorado are required to “disclose in each posting for each job opening the hourly or salary compensation, or a range of the hourly or salary compensation, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired applicant.” The law applies to internal and external job postings.

The Colorado Department of Labor has indicated that the law applies to remote workers working for a Colorado company, but an out-of-state employer without existing Colorado staff that posts a remote job is not covered by the law’s salary-posting requirement — even if a Coloradan applies for the job.


Effective October 1, 2020


Since October 1, 2020, Maryland law has required that employers provide a wage range to any applicant who requests one. The law further protects employees from retaliation based on such a request: Employers cannot refuse to interview, hire, or employ someone for requesting a wage range. Employers also cannot request a potential hire’s compensation history.

Other Jurisdictions:

Other jurisdictions with pay transparency laws not discussed here include: Ithaca, NY, Westchester County, NY, Jersey City, NJ, Cincinnati, OH, and Toledo, OH.

So What Can Employers Do?

As pay transparency laws continue to take hold in new jurisdictions, employers should carefully consult state guidance keep job posting policies current. Non-compliance can result in mounting penalties, and compliance may be especially challenging in light of the increased number of remote work opportunities.

Remote work may lead to confusion about which jurisdiction’s pay transparency law applies to a given job posting since several jurisdictions have opted to apply their laws broadly. For example, the California law applies to any job posting where the position could ever be performed by someone residing in California, even working remotely—as long as the employer has at least one employee residing in California. That means a Pennsylvania-based employer, with only one active employee residing in California, must comply with California’s pay transparency law, if the employer publishes a job posting for a position that could be performed remotely.

Employers facing this dilemma are taking various approaches to limit their potential liability. Some employers are facing the challenge head on by establishing new job posting policies that include a salary range in every job posting and, thus, are otherwise compliant with the stricter requirements of jurisdictions such as California, Colorado, and New York City.

Other employers are restricting or limiting remote work opportunities. It is worth noting, however, that Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment has denied employers’ attempts to avoid compliance by stipulating residents of a particular state or locality are not eligible for a given remote position. More effective, especially for smaller employers, is a policy banning remote work or requiring hybrid work to ensure local residence. Still, for employers recruiting in California, Colorado, New York, or any other jurisdiction with a pay transparency law, the only real choice is to comply with the new laws.

Employers concerned about compliance can take some solace in the fact that, across the jurisdictions, the ranges need only be provided in good faith and may be stated broadly. The ranges also may be qualified as dependent on factors such as experience or geographic location. Additionally, other forms of compensation such as discretionary bonuses or equity opportunities need not be explicitly provided. (As a reminder, however, Washington State requires that employers provide a “general description” of these other forms of compensation.)

If you have any questions regarding this Alert, please contact the authors, Jeff Mokotoff, partner in our Atlanta office at, and Charles Hoffman, associate in our Atlanta office at Of course, you can also contact the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work.