Pay transparency laws

I began my career as a lab research chemist in 1978. I worked for Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis), a Swiss chemical/ pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in Ardsley, NY.

C-G had bulletin boards where they posted all job openings, with job description, qualifications and, most importantly, the pay range in dollars. (Not so-called “Hay Points” which is a code used by Personnel but opaque to employees.)

When I saw that the salary of a sales person with a B.S. in Chemistry had a higher salary than a research chemist with an M.S. in Chemistry I decided to switch from research to sales.

Salary information can have both personal and Macroeconomic impact. Having accurate information can encourage people to migrate to higher-paying jobs.

A Job With a Fair Salary? What Pay Transparency Laws Are Revealing.

Salary disclosure laws have been a boon for workers searching for jobs that pay fairly — but only when the advertised pay bands are narrow enough to be useful.
By H. Claire Brown, The New York Times, June 20, 2023

Salary transparency legislation has been enacted in California, Washington State, Colorado and a handful of cities including New York. Illinois passed a wage transparency law in May.

More than one-fourth of the U.S. labor force is now covered by salary transparency legislation…Indeed, a job search website, about 45 percent of all advertisements for work in the United States now carry a pay range disclosure, up from less than 20 percent before the pandemic…

In some cases, employers have avoided disclosing specific pay practices by posting job advertisements with salary ranges that could apply to anyone at the company, from a new hire in a cubicle to an executive with a corner office. …State and local governments have not said how they intend to crack down on employers that list overly broad salary ranges or sidestep pay disclosure entirely. …[end quote]

Listing an extremely wide salary range is a way to sidestep the law. If job seekers avoid applying in these cases perhaps the companies would be pressured to comply with the law.



Research shows that at companies where pay secrecy is maintained, lower level employees tend to OVER ESTIMATE the pay of higher ups.

I inadvertantly saw the salary data from accounting at one company I worked at. The Senior VP was only making $35,000/yr more than I was.

No way I’d do that job for that salary.