A "Now Hiring" sign is posted on a Verizon store in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., May 10, 2016.
A "Now Hiring" sign is posted on a Verizon store in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., May 10, 2016. Reuters / Brendan McDermid

The New York City Council voted on Thursday to delay its new pay transparency law by six months to Nov. 1, when employers will be required to include salary ranges in job advertisements.

The law, passed in January, is intended to close wage gaps in which women and non-white employees are paid less than white men. Some businesses had argued the city needed more time to advise more than 200,000 businesses affected by the law about compliance and to address unintended consequences.

"Salary transparency is incredibly critical in ensuring that we are closing the wage gap," Council Member Nantasha Williams said in a statement about amendments to the law including the delay.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the median earnings in New York State for men working full-time was $60,813, nearly $9,000 more than the median earnings for women of $51,922. A 2021 study of New York City municipal employees found that the median white employee's salary was $27,800 higher than a Black employee's salary and $22,200 higher than a Latino employee's salary.

The city's five chambers of commerce said local businesses supported the goals of the law but called for more time before enforcement began.

Some business leaders said in an open letter the law may make it harder for small businesses owned by women and members of minority groups to attract talented candidates if wealthier employers could outbid them after seeing their salary offer.

"As a woman, yeah, I want to be paid the same as a man," Lisa Sorin, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview. "But will you limit the (pool of) potential candidates if I can't pay as much as somebody else?"

The law is similar to state transparency laws in California and Colorado.

New York City's amended law applies to employers with four or more employees and to both hourly wage earners and workers on annual salaries, so long as the job is performed at least partly in the city. The council rejected business leaders' efforts to exclude many smaller employers.