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Council Votes to Clarify and Improve Salary Transparency Law
Council Votes to Clarify and...
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Council Votes to Clarify and Improve Salary Transparency Law

29 April 2022
2134
14 min.
Council Votes to Clarify and Improve Salary Transparency Law

Today, the Council voted on Introduction 134-A. This bill would amend Local Law 32, which makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice to post any job listing that does not include the minimum and maximum salary offered for the position. The purpose of that local law was to bring more transparency to job seekers and help eliminate inherent bias in setting employee salaries.

Introduction 134-A clarifies aspects of Local Law 32 to ensure successful implementation by adding language about its application to hourly paid employees, limiting any unintended consequences for small employers lacking back-office operations, and maintaining strong salary transparency requirements.

Introduction 134-A, sponsored by Council Members Nantasha Williams and Justin Brannan:

  • Adds explicit language applying salary transparency requirement for hourly paid workers.
  • Maintains coverage of all employers with four or more employees.
  • Allows employers to cure first-time violations before a monetary fine is issued.
  • Clarifies that the salary transparency requirement law applies to job postings for virtual positions – those that can be done in New York City, are done in the City, or by New York City employers.
  • Responds to compliance concerns amongst small employers by exclusively using the Commission on Human Rights for enforcement and fines rather than permitting private lawsuits, except for current employees who maintain an ability to sue in relation to job postings by their employers. This strikes a balance between small businesses’ fears that they will be needlessly sued and pay equity advocates’ concerns that current employees be able to seek damages in court as appropriate.
  • Extends the effective date of Local Law 32 to provide an additional six months before the requirements take effect to provide additional time for improved compliance.

“Salary transparency and pay equity have always been a priority for this Council,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The measured changes in this bill improve Local Law 32 by clarifying language and building broad support for New York City’s salary transparency law. Through meaningful engagement and substantive dialogue with all stakeholders, the Council has arrived at a better bill that can ensure successful implementation of the salary transparency law in the long-term. I thank Chair Williams for her leadership and deliberations with stakeholders throughout this process.”

“This legislation serves as an opportunity to expand on landmark measures, which were critical to the fight in economic equity, that we have fought so hard for and remain inclusive of every New Yorker,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams, one of the bill’s prime co-sponsors and Chair of the Council’s Civil and Human Rights Committee. “I would like to thank the advocates, and my colleagues for a spirited discussion on this legislation and Speaker Adams for her leadership.”

“The livelihoods of New Yorkers are not a TV game show where the true salary is hidden behind a magical door if only you guess the right one,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, one of the bill’s prime co-sponsors. “We need to respect that a person has a right to determine whether they will be able to pay rent and support their family when they apply for a job. And there is no question that identifying systemic pay inequities will become a lot easier when all of the cards are on the table. As people get back to work, I cannot think of a better time to level the playing field, and restore some dignity to New Yorkers seeking employment. As the first co-sponsor of the original salary transparency bill, I know the successful implementation of the law is paramount to advancing pay equity. By bringing together the stakeholders on all sides to support this law, we achieved something extraordinary here in New York City that will foster the long-term effectiveness of our salary transparency law. I am thankful to advocates, former Council Member Helen Rosenthal, and the small business community for working with us. I also want to applaud the work of my colleague Council Member Nantasha Williams for facilitating an ideal legislative process that was inclusive and responsive to all stakeholders, bringing everyone to the table to build consensus and reach a mutual agreement. All New Yorkers will benefit from the broad support for this law, but especially those who have long faced wage inequities, making this a huge step forward for New York City.”

The Council also voted on Introduction 14-A, sponsored by Council Member Brannan, which would require the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity within the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to use the most recent data available when considering revisions to citywide Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation goals.

A requirement of the City’s M/WBE program is that it be regularly revised to reflect actual disparities in M/WBE contracting between available vendors of a particular minority or gender and those who are awarded city contracts. These revisions are determined pursuant to a disparity study. The most recent study was completed in 2018, and that study relied on M/WBE data from 2015. City agencies have access to more contemporaneous data, which they make available on their websites and in the Mayor’s Management Report. This bill would require those agencies to use this more current data in conducting future disparity studies in order to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the City’s M/WBE program and better direct efforts to increase the capacity of M/WBEs.

“I am grateful that Mayor Adams is focused on lifting up our city’s minority and women-owned businesses because there is lots of work to do,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, the bill’s sponsor. “In a time when there is a critical ongoing conversation around racial and economic justice across our country, we are still not talking nearly enough about the fact that local governments distribute a tremendous amount of money themselves. Either that money can continue to reinforce the current economic strata or we can use it to support our city’s small business owners, including our vibrant MWBEs. As we work to reach equity, we must ensure we are using current and holistic data to set goals that don’t lag behind reality. MWBEs already face significant challenges and obstacles when it comes to obtaining government contracts, including costly and often burdensome compliance requirements and RFP processes. So when the city uses outdated data, which skews towards fewer city contracted MWBEs, we can get away with setting modest goals and calling it progress. My bill will require the Department of Small Business Services and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to use the most recent data available when considering revisions to citywide goals for MWBE participation. We all want real progress. No more fake victory laps.”

In addition, the Council voted on two resolutions, sponsored by Council Member Shahana Hanif.

Resolution 84-A calls for the passage of Coverage For All (A.880A/S.1572A), which would create a state funded Essential Plan (EP) for low-income individuals currently ineligible for insurance due to their immigration status. The State’s EP has provided health coverage to almost one million enrollees at a savings to New Yorkers of almost $1.5 billion a year. However, it currently excludes many immigrants because of their immigration status.

A.880A/S.1572A, sponsored by Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, would build upon the success of EP by expanding coverage for health care services to individuals whose immigration status renders them ineligible for federal financial participation. According to a 2022 report by the Community Service Society and the Citizens Budget Commission, such a plan would provide insurance for an estimated 46,000 new enrollees, for an annual net State cost of $345 million.  In the FY23 enacted budget, the state expanded access to health coverage for certain undocumented individuals, specifically seniors over 65 and those who have recently given birth and are Medicaid eligible. However, the budget falls short of providing undocumented individuals with certain incomes access to care regardless of age and their familial circumstances.

Resolution 112 would call on the New York State Legislature to pass the New York for All Act (A.2328-A / S.3076-A), which broadly prohibits state and local officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, funneling people into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, and sharing information with federal immigration authorities; it also prohibits ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from entering non-public areas of state and local property without a judicial warrant; ensures people in custody are given notice of their rights before being interviewed by ICE; and starts the process of limiting ICE and CBP access to state information databases.

The Council already passed two legislative packages in 2014 and 2017 to restrict discovery and disclosure of immigration status information and coordination with federal immigration enforcement. This was part of the Council’s effort to end the entanglement between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement. However, immigrant New Yorkers interact with State agencies and State law enforcement out of necessity. As it stands, existing State laws can expose immigrant New Yorkers to federal immigration enforcement, which erodes trust in government and can decrease willingness to report crimes witnessed, cooperate in investigations and access critical government services. The current state of the law would hold immigrant New Yorkers to different standards based on the entity with which they interact. This resolution would encourage the State government to pass and the Governor to sign the New York for All Act, which would bring the city and state into alignment.

“Today, the City Council proudly says that immigrant rights are human rights. With the passage of the New York For All and Coverage For All resolutions, we’re demanding that New York put the needs of immigrant communities front and center,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “While the state budget might have callously left out immigrant communities, the New York City Council is standing with them.  We need ICE out of our state and coverage for all of our undocumented neighbors.”

Land Use

The Council also voted on the following:

New Providence Redevelopment – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) requests that the Council make certain project findings related to the New Providence Redevelopment project, which will facilitate the construction of a 21-story building to include a medical clinic, approximately 171 shelter beds, 130 housing units, 79 supportive units and 51 affordable units, in Majority Leader Keith Powers’ district.  

Our Lady of Pity – Our Lady of Pity Apartments LLC, requests a zoning map amendment, to rezone a portion of the block bounded by Morris Avenue, East 151st Street, Courtlandt Avenue, and East 150th Street, from an R6 district to an R7A district, together with a related zoning text amendment to establish the Proposed Project Area as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (“MIH”) Designated Area. These actions would facilitate the construction of two new 9-story affordable multi-family buildings. It will include 205 housing units, 100% of which will be affordable, in Land Use Chair Rafael Salamanca Jr.’s district.

1220 Avenue P Rezoning – Omni Enterprises LLC seeks a proposed zoning map amendment to rezone the south side of Avenue P between Coney Island Avenue and East 13th Street from R5B to R7A, and a related zoning text amendment to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area. These actions would facilitate the development of a new four-story, approximately 11,240 sq. ft. expansion to the Levit Medical Center, in Council Member Inna Vernikov’sdistrict.

Sutter Avenue Rezoning – Almonte Lincoln LLC, seeks a proposed zoning map amendment to rezone the northern side of Sutter Avenue between Autumn and Lincoln Avenues from R5 to R6A/C2-4 and related zoning text amendment to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution (Options 1 and 2). These actions would facilitate the development of a proposed five-story mixed-use commercial and residential building. It will include 28 housing units, (100% affordable), 7,436 sqf ground floor commercial space and 10 below-grade parking spaces. The Council is modifying the application to strike MIH Option 2, add the Deep Affordability Option and reduce the rezoning area to preserve the neighboring small homes, in Council Member Charles Barron’s district.

3285 Fulton St. Rezoning – MHANY Management, Inc and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation seeks a proposed rezoning from an R5/C2-3 district to R7A/C2-4 for the north side of Fulton Street between Euclid Avenue and Pine Street, removal of the C2-3 commercial overlay from beyond 100 feet of Fulton Street, and related text amendment to Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area and amend the description of Special Enhanced Commercial District 6 in Section 132-11 of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York (“Zoning Resolution” or “ZR”) to extend up to Pine Street.  These actions would facilitate a new seven-story mixed residential and community facility building containing 33 Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors (AIRS) and a new daycare facility operated by the Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation. The Council is modifying the application to strike MIH Option 2, add the Deep Affordability Option and reduce the rezoning area to preserve the neighboring three-story mixed-use buildings, in Council Member Sandy Nurse’s district.

1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue Rezoning – EMP Capital Group seeks rezoning from M1-1 to C6-3A and R7A/C2-4, text amendments to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution mapping Options 1 and 2 and to modify ZR 35-66 to permit a 20-foot sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue, and special permit pursuant to ZR 74-533 to reduce the number of required accessory parking spaces. These proposed actions would facilitate two new mixed-use commercial and residential buildings; a 17-story building on Atlantic Avenue and a 9-story building on Pacific Street, together including 210 housing units, 11,900 square feet of ground floor commercial space, 2,580 sqf community facility space and 20 parking spaces. The Council is modifying the application to strike MIH Option 2, add the Deep Affordability Option and reduce the rezoning area in order to maintain a mix of residential and industrial uses until a community-wide plan is implemented, in Council Member Crystal Hudson’s district.

870-888 Atlantic Avenue Rezoning – Y & T Development LLC, seeks rezoning from M1-1 to C6-3A, text amendments to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution mapping Options 1 and 2 and to modify ZR 35-66 to permit a 20-foot sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue, and special permit pursuant to ZR 74-533 to reduce the number of required accessory parking spaces. These proposed actions would facilitate the development of a 17-story mixed-use commercial and residential building. It will include 228 housing units, 14,500 sqf ground floor commercial space, 5,500 sqf below-grade community facility space and 40 parking spaces. The Council is modifying the application to strike MIH Option 2 and Option 4 and add MIH Option 1 and the Deep Affordability Option, in Council Member Crystal Hudson’s district.

Finance

The Council also voted on the following:

Introduction 47 established the Castle Hill business improvement district in Council Member Amanda Farías’s council district. The BID includes properties along Castle Hill Avenue and along Westchester Avenue and is centered around the Castle Hill Avenue 6 train station. The BID projects a first-year budget of $300,000, and will offer such things as marketing, holiday lighting, street cleaning, graffiti removal, administration, and advocacy services. 

Introduction 73 established the West Village business improvement district in Council Member Erik Bottcher’s council district. The BID includes properties on five major commercial strips: 7th Avenue South; Avenue of the Americas (west side only); Bleecker Street; Christopher Street; and West 4th Street. The BID projects a first-year budget of $600,000, and will offer such things as marketing, holiday lighting, street cleaning, graffiti removal, administration, and advocacy services.

Resolution 137 granted a 40-year full Article-XI property tax exemption to 13-12 Beach Channel Drive, located in Far Rockaway in Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers’ district. The proposed development consists of a single eight-story building that will include both a 100-bed shelter and 147 units of affordable supportive housing.

Discussion

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