Search ads in New York must disclose proposed pay rates after a statewide pay transparency law goes into effect on Sunday. This is part of the state and city’s growing efforts to give women and people of color a tool to advocate for equal pay for equal work.

Employers with at least four employees must disclose salary ranges for each position advertised externally or internally to employees interested in a promotion or transfer.

Advocates say pay transparency will prevent employers from offering some applicants less or more money based on age, gender, race or other factors unrelated to their skills.

Advocates believe the change could also help underpaid workers realize they earn less than people doing the same job.

A similar pay transparency ordinance has been in effect in New York City since 2022. Now the rest of the state joins a handful of other states with similar laws, including California and Colorado.

“There is a trend, not only in parliaments but also among workers, to know how much they can expect when they take a job. “There is a need for employees to educate themselves about the salary range,” said Da Hae Kim, senior public policy attorney at the National Women’s Law Center.

The law, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022, also applies to remote employees who work outside of New York but report to a supervisor, office or worksite in the state. The law would not apply to government agencies or temporary employment agencies.

Compliance will be challenging, said Frank Kerbein, human resources director at the New York Business Council, who criticized the law for imposing additional administrative burdens on employers.

“We have small employers who don’t even know anything about the law,” said Kerbein, who predicted there would be “a lot of unintentional violations.”

To avoid problems when setting a salary range, an employer should examine the pay of its current employees, said Allen Shoikhetbrod, who practices employment law at Tully Rinckley, a private law firm.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, a Democrat who represents parts of Queens, said the law is a win for labor rights groups.

“This is something that workers are organically demanding,” she said. “Young people entering the workforce in particular will develop a better understanding of how their work is valued.”

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