California and Washington Go Transparent

Beginning New Year's Day, job postings in California and Washington are now required to include salary ranges in the ad. The move mirrors laws already in place in Colorado and New York City, which require such pay transparency.

"More and more employers are looking for ways to ease their administrative burden, especially large employers where they also have PR-related concerns, optics-related concerns," Christopher T. Patrick, an employment attorney with Jackson Lewis PC, told Bloomberg Law. "Leaning into transparency can be good for business and reduce the burden related to compliance with a national strategy."

  • According to CalMatters, the law requires" employers with at least 15 workers will have to include pay ranges in job postings. Employees will also be able to ask for the pay range for their own position, and larger companies will have to provide more detailed pay data to California’s Civil Rights Department than previously required."
  • For employee rights' groups, the hope is that the sheer size of California's workforce and economy mean this law will affect employers nationwide.

The Labor Push

Washington and California's new laws dovetail a year full of unionization efforts and wage increases. As NPR writes, "only about 10% of U.S. workers belong to a union, but 68% of Americans approve of unions, according to Gallup. That's a level of support not seen since 1965." Yet, as the clouds of recession gather on the horizon, many wonder if the labor movement's hard-fought gains over the last year or two will be shed if not outright lost.

The Verdict

As workers push to make more gains, the headwinds of a possible recession along with the Fed's own actions may curtail the movement's growing strength.