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Pay Transparency Challenges for Retail Employers


Employers all over the country continue to be affected by state and local pay transparency laws. States such as IllinoisHawaiiNew York and California have all passed their own pay transparency laws while other states have proposed laws and are awaiting effect. The retail industry is now facing challenges with the ever-evolving laws.

These laws introduce unique obligations that are particularly important for employers in the retail sector to take into account. For instance, in California, retail employers with fewer than 15 workers are only required to disclose a pay scale upon request from an applicant. However, if the employer has at least 15 employees, a pay range must be included in all job postings. Conversely, Hawaii’s legislation applies solely to employers with a minimum of 50 employees. In certain regions like Colorado, employers must additionally outline the benefits and other compensations relevant to the posted job, along with specifying the anticipated closing date for applications.

Retail Industry

Considering the significant seasonal fluctuations in employment within the retail sector, which often entail a surge in hiring during holiday periods, it is imperative for retail employers to guarantee that job postings accurately reflect a genuine rate or range of pay at the time of advertisement for the advertised position.

When retail employers enlist a third party to post or publish job listings, they should furnish the pay rate or range to the third-party vendor for inclusion in the postings. Although certain pay transparency laws may not explicitly define when a retail employer is responsible for violations by their third-party vendors, neglecting to provide this information could lead to penalties and legal repercussions for the employer.

Employer Guidance

Retail employers operating across multiple jurisdictions need to stay vigilant and adapt to these new requirements, which are likely to undergo further changes as new laws are enacted and existing ones are amended. Being meticulous in establishing consistent procedures and documents for job advertisements and taking into consideration the specific requirements of each jurisdiction will help mitigate the risk of facing penalties or legal challenges.

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