This job pays $60,000 — or maybe $150,000: Companies are skirting New York’s wage law

Do you want to know how much money your future colleagues will earn? Take a look at new job openings in New York. A Deloitte advertisement promises compensation between $86,800 and $161,200 per year. A technical writer at Amazon can expect to earn between $125,800 and $211,300. And an audio news executive at the Wall Street Journal will make between $140,000 and $450,000. That’s a difference of $310,000.

These astronomical figures became a joke on social networks after the journalist Victoria M Walker has collected the most ridiculous ranges in a Twitter thread. “With NYC’s wage law now in place, I’ve looked at some companies’ pay scales, and I can already see that the ‘good faith’ part of the law is going to be tested,” she wrote. , triggering a slew of responses naming and humiliating these lists.

“Looks like I’m going to ask for the highest number they’re going to give,” one person tweeted.

“The low end is the real number, the rest hope someone doesn’t realize it and apply,” another wrote.

New Yorkers have this opportunity to spy on potential salaries because the city’s Salary Transparency Act went into effect Nov. 1. But anyone looking to compare their salary to that of a future colleague may be disappointed by comically wide ranges. Looking for a gig at Citigroup? Expect to earn between $0 and $2 million.

As Gothamist first reported, a Citigroup spokesperson blamed its ranges on a “computer glitch.” Although the initial salary gap has been changed, the salary is still listed between $59,340.00 and $149,320.00. These limited salaries would allow for two very different living standards in New York.

In a statement, a Citi representative said, “We are proactively mitigating this issue by reviewing all job postings to ensure the correct range is listed.”

August Aldebot-Green, a spokesperson for Amazon, said: “We will of course obey the law. Amazon is committed to pay equity, and we already list pay for certain roles, even where it’s not required.

Publicists for the Wall Street Journal and Deloitte did not respond to an inquiry.

The law, which applies to annual and hourly wages, affects all listings of permanent jobs performed in person in New York. Remote concerts are exempt. This follows a similar law enacted in Colorado last year, which researchers say resulted in fewer jobs being posted but an overall increase in employment, CNBC reported. This law has also fallen prey to some corporate shadows: Some companies have started hiring out-of-state employees to work from home or leaving Colorado altogether in an attempt to circumvent the measure.

In New York, so far, the only requirement for salary ranges is that “the employer has a good faith belief, at the time of posting, that he or she would pay for the employment, promotion, or opportunity announced transfer”. So therein lies the loophole: “good faith” doesn’t carry much weight when companies post ads where the highest rate is almost double the lowest rate.

According to Gothamist, it’s “unclear” whether the city’s human rights commission will pursue these companies with fines for breaking the law.

New York City Councilwoman Nantasha Williams, who also chairs the Civil and Human Rights Committee, told the Guardian she “couldn’t believe” some of the ranges she saw floating around on Twitter. “[I thought] ‘Is it really an assignment?’ “, did she say. “I go to the company’s website.”

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Nantacha Williams. Photography: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Williams added that the intent of the law was to “reduce” pay inequality in the city, which disproportionately affects women and people of color. “While it’s amusing to see how companies circumvent the law, it’s also quite eye-opening and telling in terms of a complete disregard for what pay equity means,” she said.

Although Williams admitted it was ‘difficult to say’ what falls into the category of reasonable pay and ‘good faith’, what she saw was ‘quite egregious’. She has not approached the Human Rights Commission to address the issue, but plans to do so.

Jeanne M Christensen, a partner at New York labor law firm Wigdor LLP, believes that “it won’t take long to clarify what is considered a compliant range under the new law”.

“Of course, companies have spent decades not having to provide us with this information publicly,” she said. “They’re used to doing things a certain way, and that’s a big change. They want to stick to the old way of doing things as much as possible.

Christensen added that it could be difficult to litigate cases alleging pay inequality between employees, as it could be difficult to obtain evidence of what competitors were actually earning. “If you represent a white woman alleging that she is paid less than her white male counterpart and you have no way to get [salary] information, it’s hard to know what’s really going on,” she said. “Transparency is definitely a step in the right direction for groups that are traditionally ostracized.”

Rana Boukhari, 26, works in consulting and change management and is currently looking for a job. There were times when she went through an entire interview process without hearing about salary and received offers that were too low. “It was a huge waste of time,” she said. “If I had seen ad slots that were lower than I wanted, I wouldn’t have applied.”

When Bukhari applied for jobs last week, she said she saw listings offering salary brackets between $90,000 and $120,000. “It’s a really big range,” she said. “[It makes you wonder]:’Where do I fall in this range?

Robin Blaire-Batte, a union organizer at New York Communications Workers Local 1180, said she thinks a salary range of $30,000 or $40,000 is acceptable for future sign-ups. “[Applicants] have different levels of experience,” she said. But those $100,000 discrepancies you see on the lists this week will likely go unpunished.

“We don’t expect any of the companies to be fined at this time,” she said. “The New York City Human Rights Commission will probably give up because this is the start of this initiative. But later, if it gets crazy, they will.

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