Well, don’t come bitching to us when state laws tie your hands
There is a locomotive coming down the track. Here’s what it looks like the closer it gets:
Massachusetts was the first to act in 2016 making it illegal to ask a candidate about their salary. They didn’t make it effective until July 2018 to give employers time to adapt. An employer’s typical response to this day, even after many states added the same law, is a workaround many recruiters use as a ploy to avoid sharing salary before learning as much as one can about a candidate’s minimum needs e.g. “What are your salary expectations?”
California’s 2018 Equal Pay Act not only mirrored that Massachusetts law but added a clause that employers must provide salary when asked. Of course, they missed requiring employers to inform candidates that they can make the request and few organization’s make it common practice.
And then there is Colorado. In their 2021 Equal Pay Act, they were the first to require that salaries be included on any job listing in Colorado media or in any media that targets Colorado residents i.e., remote jobs. What was the typical employer response? Not listing the salary but, instead, adding the phrase “this remote opportunity is available for anyone except candidates in Colorado”.
Now we arrive in New York City.
US industry trade organizations (as well as professional associations like SHRM) could (and should) be influencing all public employers to voluntarily include equal pay data in their annual reports as a baseline for pay transparency. Failing this, the message being sent to employees and candidates everywhere simply underscores why engagement levels have dropped to historic lows.
Consider for a moment that in the UK every employer over a certain size is required to publish on their website the gender disparity for several classes of workers – a disparity calculated by a government formula. The US version wouldn’t just be gender. Why are we staring at this locomotive bearing down without acting?