Pay Transparency Laws and What They Mean for Your Job Postings

As part of a wave of new pay transparency laws across the country, New York is the latest state to require employers to include their salary in job postings. 

New York’s pay transparency law went into effect on September 17, 2023 and Indeed began removing job postings without compensation information. From Indeed’s Hiring Lab website: “Job postings in New York that do not include employer-provided pay information will not be visible until pay information is added or employers indicate the job is exempt.” 

Below is the data published on Indeed’s Hiring Lab on September 22, the first covering the period with the new law in effect. As you can see, job postings drop significantly. In fact, over the last week, nearly 30% of job postings have been removed. 

Number of New York job postings on Indeed

This means that employers posting jobs in New York will need to be certain that their jobs list compensation or they could be removed from major job boards like Indeed. 

But New York isn’t the only state in which employers need to pay extra attention to their job postings going forward. 

Which states have pay transparency laws? 

Currently, nine states have laws around pay transparency: 

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island
  • Illinois
  • California
  • Washington
  • New York 

Other cities and localities have similar regulations, and it’s expected that more states will continue to follow suit.  

Some of these policies require employers to disclose salary and benefits information upon the applicant’s request. But in four of these states – including most recently, New York – employers are required to disclose salary in the job posting. 

What do pay transparency laws mean for employers? 

Pay transparency laws create an added layer of complexity for employers in an already challenging labor market. To stay compliant, employers in the states that have active pay transparency laws need to learn and adhere to the new policies. It’d also be wise for employers in other states to understand these new laws as well, and to start preparing for similar legislation in their area.   

One big thing that employers need to be aware of is that not complying with these laws can have some pretty drastic consequences on their ability to post jobs and make hires for their team. 

Why pay transparency is good for recruiting

We’ve long encouraged employers to follow this practice as it can actually save you time in your hiring process. Including the compensation or a compensation range in your job description can:

  • Help candidates self-select in or out of your opportunity, so you don’t end up spending time or resources moving someone through your process only to not agree on terms. 
  • Encourage more applicants. Job seekers have a lot of options and high-quality candidates will concentrate on companies that are up front about what they are offering. 
  • Create a better experience for candidates and show them that you are a more transparent company. This can help you get more candidates to say yes to your job offers. 
  • Lastly, research shows that pay transparency can help increase pay equity, as being secretive about pay contributes to gender pay gaps and pay gaps that affect people of color. 

There are obvious benefits to job seekers when pay transparency laws go into effect. But as an employer, all of these new requirements can be difficult to keep up with. It can be challenging to make sure that your job postings and hiring process comply with these new laws. 

How to start practicing pay transparency on your job postings 

If you’re in the state of New York or another area with pay transparency laws, it’s clearly time to start including your compensation on your job postings if you want to maintain the visibility of your open jobs that sites like Indeed can provide. 

So how do you go about including compensation on your job postings if you’ve never done it before? Here are some of our best tips: 

  • If you’re not sure where to start with competitive compensation, research what it looks like in your market by searching for similar job titles online. You can also check out free compensation resources on sites like Indeed or Glassdoor; keep in mind this is also where job seekers are often looking to evaluate their market worth. 
  • Have internal discussions and make sure your job posts are aligned with your internal team. Compensation should ideally meet both internal and external benchmarks – i.e., what you’re paying the position compared to other companies in your industry and what you’re paying the position compared to other employees within your company. 
  • Remember that many candidates are looking for a combination of salary and benefits. Include the benefits you offer in your job posting as well. This can be especially helpful if you’re worried about the competitiveness of the salary you can offer. 
  • If you’re including a compensation range, the range should not exceed 1.5 times the base amount you’re offering.  
  • Never put the compensation in your job title or include spammy phrases like “Make Cash Now” or “Unlimited Earning Potential”. This can potentially get your job flagged and removed. 

Easily create and share your job postings with CareerPlug

Our job description templates make it easy to format a great job posting that is compliant and attractive to job seekers. Plus, we’ll distribute your job postings to all the major job boards instantly.


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