NYC Firms Are Evading The Ground-Breaking Pay Transparency Rule By Posting Job Compensation Ranges Of $100,000 Or More

Many job seekers in New York City’s brave, freshly transparent world may still be left wondering: Wait, how much does this role truly pay?

According to a Bloomberg News survey of more than 400 open positions, employers are pushing the boundaries of a new city ordinance requiring wage ranges on job advertisements by providing pay bands that, in some cases, stretch more than $100,000.

For instance, the starting pay range for a field operations manager at Verizon Communications Inc. in Brooklyn is between $92,000 and $170,000. The range is $173,300 to $359,000 for a compliance director at Wells Fargo & Co. situated in New York City, which is a difference of more than $180,000.

According to job advertisements on business websites and the employment website Indeed.com, the prospective income range for a technology engineer at International Business Machines Corp. is $73,000 to $152,000, a more than double increase.

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Many job advertisements in New York City are leaving applicants more perplexed than ever as firms adapt to the new laws. The lowest end of the salary band is less than half of the stated maximum in several of the pay ranges that Bloomberg has analysed.

It raises the issue, “How can I know actually what this position pays?” Nancy Romanyshyn, a director at Syndio, which develops software that aids businesses in eliminating pay gaps, said as much.

The new law mandates that all businesses with four or more workers create a “good faith” salary range for positions in the 8.5 million-person metropolis. It only specifies what the employer “honestly feels” they are willing to pay for a qualified applicant when defining a “good faith” estimate. Most compensation specialists acknowledge that such matters are far more art than science.

In order to understand how these employers in New York City are interpreting this obligation, Bloomberg gathered a sample of more than 400 new listings from a dozen or so major companies. The approaches and pay bands’ widths differ.

Companies like Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Google of Alphabet Inc., NBCUniversal of Comcast Corp., and Citigroup Inc. had fairly narrow ranges for the jobs Bloomberg studied, with minimum pay that were frequently 60% to 80% or more of the maximum.

While JPMorgan and Bank of America’s ranges were less consistent, Citigroup and Google’s, who have begun disclosing wage ranges for all US employees, appeared to utilise a certain ratio to create their ranges.

Some companies, like IBM, Verizon, and Wells Fargo, choose to offer greater ranges, with many of the minimum starting wages being half as high as the highest. Verizon routinely reported a top-end wage that was almost 1.85 times more than the lowest end of the range, while listings from Amazon.com Inc. frequently had a high end of the range that was almost twice as high as the low end.

According to Wells Fargo, Amazon, and IBM, ranges take into account factors including geography, aptitude, and experience. A spokeswoman for Amazon, August Aldebot-Green, stated via email, “We’ll of course comply with the law. Amazon pledges to promote wage equity. A request for comment on Verizon’s methods was not answered.

A request for comment regarding how it will assess the salary ranges was not answered by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which upholds the NYC regulations. For non-compliance, businesses risk fines of up to $250,000.

According to Scott Moss, head of the division of labour and statistics at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, employers in Colorado, which has a similar pay regulation, risk penalties if they advertise pay ranges with ridiculous starting salaries, such a penny, or do not have ending salaries. For it, no one has yet received a fine.

Employers and workers are increasingly at odds as substantial segments of the workforce reject going back to the office after effectively working from home for several years during the pandemic.

Jobs data on Friday revealed that hiring is remained strong, with payrolls rising by 261,000 versus a median expectation in a Bloomberg survey of economists that called for a 193,000 increase in payrolls. Job postings and the number of people departing are both down from recent heights. Wages also increased.

With the new pay transparency rules, a business may not only be unable to recruit the new talent it requires, but a badly designed range may also cause current employees to defect to rival organisations.

Companies typically have internal wage ranges in mind for open positions. However, prospective recruits are now able to observe that decision-making process in public – frequently for the first time — flaws and all.

Despite the fact that companies have months to prepare, there will undoubtedly be inconsistencies and errors as firms get used to the enforced pay transparency following decades of concealment.

According to Justin Hampton, founder of Compensation Tool, which aggregates and analyses salary data, many CEOs are undecided about whether to reveal their entire pay range, as it exists internally, or a narrower portion for public consumption. Additionally, they are concerned that potential recruits will all demand the highest compensation and that current employees will become irritated if they see a range.

Regarding their methods, JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup made no remarks. On its corporate website, Google provided guidelines stating that pay ranges are determined nationally and that individual pay is influenced by elements like experience and suitable education.

According to Romanyshyn, a lot of other businesses are probably also offering a national statistic that tries to take into account all potential conditions. Later on in the process, nuance enters the picture. After coping with Covid, numerous resignations, return-to-office rules, inflationary pressures, and other stresses, she claimed that human resources departments are likewise exhausted. Transparency in pay is another another hazard.

The goal of a compensation programme, according to Romanyshyn, is to reward employees. “You want to hire new staff and keep the ones you already have.” So, creating questions is the last thing I want to do. It is, in my opinion, one enormous experiment.

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According to Denise Liebetrau, a compensation consultant and pay bargaining coach at Prosper Consulting LLC, companies often establish a range by deciding on a multiple they will use to get from the minimum to the greatest amount from the wage they are willing and able to give. Paying someone within 10% of the median of that wage range is the ideal situation. According to Liebetrau, there should be a clear explanation if an employee is offered a salary that is outside of that range, either below or above.

According to Liebetrau, a reasonable rule of thumb for workers unsure of how to interpret the new information is to take the posted range, locate the midpoint, and then compare that number to salaries listed on independent websites like Glassdoor. Whether the range represents an acceptable salary should be apparent from that rough examination. If so, the candidate should concentrate on making a case during wage negotiations for a salary that is closer to the top of the range.

In order to eliminate pay discrepancies, the ultimate purpose of more transparency in job listings is to provide women and other underpaid workers a clearer notion of what a position might pay and what to ask for in negotiations. According to US Census data, women earn 83 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make on a nationwide scale. Although it differs by industry, this gap favours White men.

According to Liebetrau, a salary negotiation expert, “just having the range has value, it offers us additional information about how an employer is thinking about pay for a job.” There will inevitably be sceptics and irritated individuals who object to the range’s continued wideness.

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