This article was originally published on January 21, 2022. It was last updated on August 25, 2023.
We are in a new era of pay transparency. There has been a steady drumbeat of new pay transparency legislation, with states that broke ground early inspiring others to shape their own unique regulations. And now, with more employees openly sharing their salaries and new pay transparency laws continuing to pass, many employers are realizing that pay transparency is here to stay.
If you are feeling unprepared, don’t worry. You’re not alone. To help, our team of experts has put together a comprehensive cheat sheet for all the U.S. pay transparency legislation — and guidance for how to comply now and set yourself up for success.
Current pay transparency legislation requirements in the U.S.
|Location||Requirement||Proactive Disclosure||Pay Type||Effective|
Employers with 15+ employees must disclose the wage scale or salary range on every job posting. Employers with 1+ employees must provide pay scale information to applicants “upon request” and must provide employees the pay scale for their current position upon request.
Resources: On-Demand Webinar | Ask the Experts: California’s Pay Reporting + Pay Scale Disclosure Law
On-Demand Webinar | California’s Groundbreaking Pay Reporting & Pay Scale Disclosure Law Passed: What Now?
Article | FAQ on CA SB 1162: California’s Groundbreaking Pay Reporting & Pay Scale Disclosure Law
Article | California’s Groundbreaking Pay Transparency Law Passed — Here’s What You Need to Know
|Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2023)|
Must include in each job posting (1) base compensation (2) a general description of any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation; and (3) a general description of all benefits the employer is offering for the position.
Resources: There are additional requirements outlined in this article | Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act — What Employers Need to Know
|Yes, in job posting||Base pay and general description of bonuses, commissions, benefits, or other compensation||Now (2021)|
Must provide applicants the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of (a) the applicant's request, or (b) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation.
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.
|Yes, but not in job posting||Base pay||Now (2021)|
Must disclose the hourly rate or salary range reasonably reflecting the actual expected compensation in all job listings.
This requirement does not apply to job listings for an internal transfer or promotion with an employee's current employer or to public employee positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are determined pursuant to collective bargaining.
|Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Coming soon (Jan 1, 2024)|
|Illinois||Must provide the wage or salary range and a general description of the benefits and other compensation (i.e., bonuses, stock options, or other incentives) the employer reasonably expects in good faith to offer for the position in any job posting. The range should be based on the applicable pay scale, the previously determined range for the position, the actual range of others currently holding equivalent positions, or the budgeted amount for the position. If starting pay is fixed for the role, can provide starting wage or salary rate in lieu of a range. Employers can provide a hyperlink to a publicly viewable web page that includes the pay scale and benefits information.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay and general description of benefits, bonuses, stock options, and other incentives||Coming soon (Jan 1, 2025)|
|Maryland||Must provide the wage range to applicants, upon request.||No||Base pay||Now (2020)|
Must provide applicants who have completed an interview for a position the wage or salary range or rate for the position.
Must provide the wage or salary range or rate for a promotion or transfer to a new position 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 or transfer, and (3) requested the wage or salary range or rate for the promotion or transfer.
|Yes, but not in job posting||Base pay||Now (2021)|
|Albany, New York||Must disclose in job advertisements for new hire, promotion, or transfer opportunities, the minimum and maximum hourly or hourly wage for the position.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2023)|
|Ithaca, New York||Must disclose in job advertisements the minimum and maximum hourly or salary compensation offered for new hires, transfers, and promotions.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2022)|
|New York City, New York||
Must disclose in the job listings the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage offered for new hires, transfers, and promotions.
Resources: On-Demand Webinar | NYC Pay Scale Disclosure Law: How to Prepare Your Organization for Pay Transparency Legislation
Article | New York City Pay Scale Disclosure Law FAQs
|Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2022)|
|New York State||Must disclose the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage, or if paid on commission a statement that compensation shall be based on commission, in any advertisement for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity. Must also provide the job description for such job, promotion, or transfer opportunity, if such description exists.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay, or if paid on commission statement pay is based on commission||Now (2023)|
|Westchester County, New York||Must disclose in job postings the minimum and maximum hourly or salary compensation offered for new hires, transfers, and promotions.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2022)|
|Jersey City, New Jersey||Must disclose in job postings the minimum and maximum salary and/or hourly wage and benefits.||Yes, in job posting||Base pay||Now (2022)|
|Cincinnati, Ohio||Must provide salary scale to applicant upon request after conditional offer of employment is made.||No||Base pay||Now (2019)|
|Toledo, Ohio||Must provide salary scale to applicant upon request after conditional offer of employment is made.||No||Base pay||Now (2020)|
Must provide an applicant the wage range upon the applicant’s request and should disclose prior to discussing compensation.
Must provide an employee the wage range both at the time of hire and when the employee moves into a new position. Must provide the wage range for the employee’s position, upon request by an employee.
|Yes, but not in job posting||Base pay||Now (2023)|
Employers must disclose in the job postings the wage scale or salary range, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired applicants.
For employees 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, upon request.
Resources: On-Demand Webinar | Washington State Pay Scale Disclosure Law: What You Need to Know
|Yes, in job posting||Base pay and general description of benefits and other compensation||Now (2023)|
How leading brands are responding to pay transparency laws
It may feel tempting to surgically implement pay scale transparency in only the locations that require it. However, many leading companies are embracing pay scale transparency as a principle, not a mandate. This means they’re universally sharing ranges, regardless of whether or not it’s required by pay transparency legislation in that specific location.
So, what are the benefits? While this approach is more expansive, it also simplifies your strategy and makes it consistent.
Additionally, prospective employees love transparency. As we face the Great Resignation, brands that set themselves apart by going above and beyond the status quo are enjoying a competitive advantage.
Lastly, employees are now more mobile than ever before. If you set a precedent of transparency in one location but not another, you may face confusion and dissatisfaction from employees who have changed locations.
How to talk about pay
As pay transparency laws continue to require increased pay disclosures and reporting from employers, it’s important to be prepared for questions and conversations with employees, investors, and other stakeholders.
To help you build your own communications strategy in the face of expanding pay transparency legislation, we’ve curated a bundle of workplace equity communications resources, linked below. You’ll find a playbook with step-by-step guidance, a lookbook with real-world examples from 20+ leading brands, and tips from a top communications consultant.
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