The District of Columbia successfully amended its wage transparency laws, bringing employers a June 30, 2024, compliance date for the new pay and benefit transparency obligations. The District of Columbia passed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023, changing its 2014 wage transparency laws to provide applicants and employees expanded pay protections while being screened in a hiring, promotion, or transfer process. Read more.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed H.704 on June 4, 2024, mandating pay transparency in job postings and advertisements. Effective July 1, 2025, employers with at least five employees must include in any “Vermont job opening” advertisement the compensation or range of compensation for the advertised position.

Why It Matters
The law applies not only to positions “physically located in Vermont” but also any remote positions that will predominately perform work for an office or work location physically located in Vermont. In addition, the law applies to positions that are (1) open to internal or external candidates, or both, and (2) positions into which current employees can transfer or be promoted.

Definition of Advertisement
“Advertisement” is any “written notice, in any format, of a specific job opening that is made available to potential applicants.”

The law does not include:

  • General announcements that notify potential applicants that employment opportunities may exist with the employer but do not identify any specific job openings; or
  • Verbal announcements of employment opportunities made in person or on the radio, television, or other electronic mediums.

What Must Be Disclosed
Advertisements must include the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage for a job opening the employer expects in good faith to pay for the advertised job at the time the employer creates the advertisement. The law does not prevent an employer from hiring an employee for more or less than the range of compensation advertised based on circumstances outside the employer’s control, such as an applicant’s qualifications or labor market forces.

Exceptions
Job advertisements for positions paid on a commission basis must disclose that the position is commission-based, but the employer is not required to disclose the compensation or range of compensation.

Advertisements for positions paid on a tipped basis must disclose that it is a tipped position and provide the base wage or range of base wages for the job opening.

To Be Determined
There is no provision for fines or other penalties for violations of the law. The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is to publish on its website guidance on the pay disclosure law before Jan. 1, 2025, six months before the law’s effective date.

Next
With this latest development in state pay equity and transparency laws, employers should:

  • Conduct training for recruiters and hiring and compensation managers on pay equity and transparency laws
  • Review job descriptions, postings, and advertisements to ensure compliance with state and local laws
  • Review career sites to remove or revise outdated or non-compliant job postings
  • Review compensation processes and systems
  • Conduct a privileged pay analysis
  • Remember that the salary range requirement for postings also would apply to recruitments conducted for PERM green card applications for foreign nationals

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions on compliance with pay transparency obligations.

The final days of the 2024 Minnesota legislative session brought a flurry of activity impacting Minnesota employment laws, including many substantive changes to existing Minnesota employment laws and several new employment laws. One of the new laws is Minnesota Statutes section 181.173, requiring employers with at least 30 employees to include pay rate and benefits information in job postings and solicitations.

Effective Jan. 1, 2025, any “person or entity that employs 30 or more employees at one or more sites in Minnesota” must disclose in each posting for each job opening “the starting salary range” and “a general description of all the benefits and other compensation, including but not limited to any health or retirement benefits,” that will be offered to the applicant hired for the position. With regard to the salary range, this means that each posting must include “the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation” for that job opportunity with the employer at the time it posts the job. The salary range can be based on the employer’s good faith estimate, but cannot include an open-ended range. Further, if an employer does not plan to offer a salary range for the position posted, the posting “must list a fixed pay rate.”

The scope of this disclosure requirement is broad. An employer must include the wage disclosure information in any solicitation posted electronically or in hard copy that includes qualifications for desired applicants and is intended to recruit job applicants for a specific available position. The requirement also applies to the employer regardless of whether it is doing the recruiting directly or through a third party.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.

Effective October 1, 2024, Maryland will join a growing list of states in promoting wage transparency in the workplace. The Maryland Wage Transparency Law (SB 525/HB 649) requires employers, both public and private, to publish wage ranges, a “general description of benefits,” and “any other compensation” in all internal and external job postings. This new law builds on previous pay transparency legislation that requires disclosure of a wage range upon request and prevents employers from requesting applicant and employee wage history.

Applicability
The law applies to positions that are physically performed, at least in part, in Maryland. It remains to be seen how “in part” will be defined, given the prevalence of remote and hybrid work. The Maryland Department of Labor is expected to issue guidance that may help clarify the new law.

Definition of “Wage Range”
Under the new law, “wage range” means “the minimum and maximum hourly or salary wage for a position.” An employer, in good faith, must determine the wage range, based on:

  • Any pay scale;
  • Any previously determined minimum and maximum hourly or salary wage for the position;
  • Minimum and maximum hourly or salary wage of current employees holding equivalent positions at the time of the posting; or
  • The budgeted amount for the position.

Disclosure Requirements, Timing
Employers must disclose the wage range in any public or internal job postings. Along with the wage range, the posting must include a general description of the position, benefits, and any other compensation offered for the position. If a job posting was not made available to an applicant for the position, the employer must disclose to the applicant the required information before holding compensation discussions with the applicant and at any other time upon the applicant’s request.

Record-Keeping Requirements
Employers must maintain records of wages, job classifications, and other employment conditions for three years after a position is filled or the job posting is made if the position remains unfilled.

Enforcement, Penalties
Unlike the California and Washington state transparency laws, Maryland’s law does not create a private right of action for employees or job applicants. Instead, Maryland’s labor commissioner is tasked with enforcement of the new law. The commissioner has discretionary authority to enforce various penalties for violating the wage transparency requirements including:

  • First Violation: The commissioner may issue a compliance letter to the employer, demanding adherence to the law.
  • Second Violation: The employer may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $300 for each employee or applicant affected by the non-compliance.
  • Subsequent Violations: If further violations occur within three years of a previous violation, the employer may face a civil penalty of up to $600 for each employee or applicant affected.

When determining what penalty to issue, the commissioner will consider factors like the gravity of the violation, the size of the business, the employer’s good faith, and prior violations.

Ensuring Compliance With Maryland’s Wage Transparency Law
To ensure compliance with Maryland’s new Wage Transparency Law, employers should take proactive steps. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Review compensation and related policies and practices: Proactively review compensation to ensure internal equity and that wage rates are set consistently and equitably.
  • Review and Update Policies: Regularly review job posting and hiring practices to ensure they align with the requirements of the new law.
  • Educate Your Team: Conduct training sessions for HR personnel and hiring managers about the implications of the law and the importance of wage range disclosure.
  • Implement Systematic Changes: Adjust your HR systems to automatically include wage range information in job postings and internal notifications.
  • Keep Detailed Records: Maintain thorough records of wages, job classifications, and other relevant employment data to comply with the law’s three-year record-keeping requirement.

Contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.

Ashley Woozley, law clerk, assisted with preparing this post.

The Illinois Equal Pay Act requires all private businesses with at least 100 Illinois employees to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) by March 23, 2024.

To obtain a certificate, businesses must pay a $150 filing fee, complete a compliance statement, and provide a wage records report containing detailed pay information.

Many businesses in Illinois have already received a notice from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) requiring an EPRC submission before March 23, 2024. However, the Act and the IDOL’s FAQs make clear that any failure by the IDOL to assign a business an EPRC registration date does not exempt the business from completing a submission by March 23, 2024.

The first step for any businesses that have not yet submitted an application is to determine if they are implicated by the Act. The primary threshold questions are: (1) whether the business is required to file an annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and (2) whether the business had at least 100 employees who worked at a location in Illinois or were remote but reported directly to Illinois management on Dec. 31, 2023. Businesses that meet these threshold requirements will then need to register with the state and submit an application.

If you have questions or need assistance regarding compliance with the IEPA’s certification requirements, please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made available on March 12, 2024, a data dashboard featuring the 2017 and 2018 EEO-1 Component 2 pay data. To protect employer and employee confidentiality, EEOC has aggregated the data. The dashboard contains aggregated employer-level workforce demographic and pay data reported by pay band. Users of the dashboard may view aggregated information by industry, job category, and core-based statistical areas (CBSA) or state.

According to EEOC’s press release, the dashboard “allows industries, employers, and individuals to assess generally how their pay by sex and race compares to others in their industry, job category, or state.”

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions about this development.

Starting March 1, 2024, the City of Columbus ordinance banning inquiries into an applicant’s salary history goes into effect. This ordinance applies to all employers with 15 or more employees within Columbus. Employers that violate the ordinance could face civil fines of up to $5,000.

Covered employers should ensure that all employees involved in hiring and compensation decisions, including any outside job placement and referral agencies, are aware of this new ordinance and what information can be discussed or considered during the hiring process.

For more information on this new ordinance, read more here.

Washington, D.C. joins a growing group of states requiring employers to include projected salary ranges in job postings and to restrict the use of pay history in setting pay.

On Jan. 12, 2024, the mayor of D.C. signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act, which, among other things, requires private employers, regardless of size, to disclose pay ranges in all job postings and advertisements. Because the D.C. budget is controlled by Congress, the Amendment was sent to Congress for a 30-day review on Jan. 22, 2024, with a projected law date of March 9, 2024. The new law is scheduled to go into effect on June 30, 2024.

The Amendment requires employers to include in job postings the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly wage for the position. Employers not only must disclose the projected salary in public job postings, but they also must do so in any internal job postings of the position. The Amendment also requires employers to disclose to prospective employees the existence of other benefits (such as healthcare or bonuses) before the first interview.

The Amendment prohibits employers from screening job applicants based on wage history. The Amendment does not specifically address remote positions.

Employers will be required to post a notice in the workplace notifying employees of their rights under this law. The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place in at least one location where employees congregate.

The new requirements under the Amendment will also affect the PERM labor certification process for employers sponsoring foreign nationals for “green cards.” Employers can prepare for these changes by:

  • Reviewing and modifying, as needed, all recruitment postings (both external and internal) to ensure these postings include the required salary ranges.
  • Reviewing internal interviewing protocols to ensure disclosure of benefit information upon request or before conducting a screening interview (whether by phone or in person) with an applicant for the PERM position.
  • Reviewing internal interviewing protocols to ensure no historical pay information is requested from prospective employees or from their prior employers. Indeed, this would not even be relevant because the applicant for the PERM position will know the salary range.
  • Training employees involved in the PERM process on the benefit disclosure requirements and the salary history restrictions.

The law aims to increase pay equity and to address historical wage gaps. While the law does not create a private right of action for employees, the Amendment provides the attorney general the authority to investigate violations and to bring civil actions against an employer or seek remedies on behalf of individuals or the public. Employers found to have violated the law may be subject to civil fines ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 per occurrence.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist in navigating the many new pay transparency laws.

In recognition of the 15th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Biden Administration has released a proposal that would prohibit federal contractors from using a job applicant’s prior salary history when setting pay and require federal contractors to post the expected salary range in its job postings. >>Learn more here.

California’s pay data reporting portal will open on February 1, 2024, and employers will be required to report on three new data points.

Since 2020, California has mandated that employers with at least 100 employees submit a pay data report to the state Civil Rights Department (CRD) as part of its efforts to advance fair pay. The reporting requires annual submissions detailing pay and hours worked for employees in California, or who are a part of a California establishment, categorized by establishment, job category, race/ethnicity, and sex.

In 2022, the reporting requirements expanded to require reporting on both “payroll employees” (workers on an employer’s payroll) and “labor contractor employees” (workers not on an employer’s payroll who are engaged in the employer’s usual course of business). That amendment also established potential penalties of $100 per employee for employers who fail to comply (or $200 per person for repeat failures).

In January 2024, California again updated its pay data reporting website for the 2024 reporting cycle.

Read the full article on Jackson Lewis’ California Workplace Law Blog.