Article: Salary Transparency Law: Google, JP Morgan, others under pressure to disclose staff pay

Strategic HR

Salary Transparency Law: Google, JP Morgan, others under pressure to disclose staff pay

New York's new salary transparency law, which mandates companies to reveal pay ranges and aims to eliminate gender pay gaps and other disadvantages, caused discomfort for businesses including Google, JPMorgan, and others that are loath to do so.
Salary Transparency Law: Google, JP Morgan, others under pressure to disclose staff pay

A new salary transparency law is taking shape and causing uneasiness among employers, who are under compulsion to disclose the pay scale of their employees.  

The move by US authorities has caused discomfort for Google, Meta, and others who are under compulsion to disclose the pay of staff on California job listings.

Staff salaries remain a hush-hush affair for firms. Company bosses are hesitant fearing potential backlash from their employees. 

Top companies such as Citigroup Inc. and Macy’s Inc. have buckled under pressure. They have updated all job listings to include pay ranges nationwide before November 1 deadline. 

A bill passed by the California legislature mandates that all organisations with 15 or more employees include the hourly pay or salary range on job listings in the state. 

It also calls for companies to disclose more information to the state on the wages of existing workers.

A WSJ report said some big New York employers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and American Express Co., have begun including salary ranges on postings ahead of the deadline. The latest update is awaited on the matter. 

The path-breaking move, aimed at closing gender pay gaps and other disparities, requires firms to include salary ranges if they hire in New York or advertise for remote roles that could be done in the city. 

The US authorities are readying plans for implementing the law across the country. 

The legislation, if enacted, could compel employers to make nationwide changes to pay and hiring practices, human-resources executives and advisers said.

Macy’s disclosed that the annual salary for a New York-based sales and customer service manager ranges from about $51,000 to $85,000. The firms have analysed existing pay bands or prepared managers for potentially contentious conversations with existing employees about pay matters, executives revealed.

Firms resisted, but later relented

Initially, companies were in no mood to share pay information broadly, saying it could make hiring more difficult, tip off competitors about pay practices or create disputes among employees. Some business groups such as the Partnership for New York City pushed back against the New York law earlier this year, calling it overly burdensome.

The resistance, however, appears to be fading fast.

The executives of technology company Harri sent multiple internal advisories in recent weeks to remind hiring managers that the New York law is coming. 

A concern for companies runs deep. Executives said a manager will be asked to explain why an employee isn’t near the top of a salary band—creating a complex and uncomfortable conversation.

A few companies said they support more transparency on pay but wish they had more time to comply.

New York’s law applies to employers with four or more workers and requires that companies include the minimum and maximum salary information not only on external job postings but also for internal promotions or transfer opportunities. 

Those who fail to meet the deadline could face fines. Authorities are firming up plans to send a warning to employees for not disclosing pay ranges first and then slap fines on them.

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Topics: Strategic HR, Compensation & Benefits

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