Using Pay Transparency in Salary Negotiations

Using Pay Transparency in Salary Negotiations

Have you been stuck with the same salary for years and want to negotiate better prospects? New laws allowing pay transparency can help you land better pay with attractive benefits.

What is Pay Transparency?

New York City has recently passed a pay transparency law that goes into effect on September 17th, 2023. Essentially, the law requires private-sector companies with four or more employees and at least one working within the city to post potential salary ranges for all job postings.

Many states, like California, Rhode Island, and Washington, have adopted new pay transparency laws to encourage equal treatment within the workplace. In addition, House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton plans on proposing a bill to make pay transparency a federal law.

How Does Pay Transparency Work?

The new law requires employers to publicly post a good-faith salary range as offered to their employees in job listings. Research shows that workplace pay transparency can close the pay inequity and gender gap. Ultimately, employers must provide equitable pay and advancement opportunities for all employees.


There are quite a few benefits to pay transparency in salary negotiations.

  • It encourages pay equity. Pay transparency will help standardize salaries for similar positions within an industry, thus working towards pay equity within the workplace. In addition, it'll benefit employees by providing them with a benchmark for equal pay when negotiating their salary in job interviews. It'll also allow existing employees to get better perks and benefits.

    Typically, there needs to be more information about what employers pay across their different job positions and how it compares to other positions within the same industry. That results in employers paying lower than the industry standard, thus causing pay inequity. Pay transparency will assist with this issue and ultimately encourage equal pay across similar jobs.

  • Reduces gender pay gap. Lack of salary transparency ultimately creates a gender divide where women earn less than their male counterparts while often being held back from advancement opportunities. Pay transparency casts light on salaries offered across similar jobs, which will help reduce the gender pay gap within the workplace.
  • Establishes employer accountability. Pay transparency on job postings will allow employees to see if there are any pay disparities within their current position. In addition, it'll create responsibility for the employer if they are not paying a fair amount for doing the same or similar work.
  • Organizations get a competitive benefit. From an employer's perspective, pay transparency will help companies offer better pay and benefits to get a competitive edge.
  • Attract higher quality candidates. Job applicants may prefer a company that offers an honest and open culture regarding their hiring practices.
  • It's easier. With nothing hidden, salary negotiations are much easier and less time-consuming.


While there are significant benefits to pay transparency, there are also many drawbacks.

  • It can cause pay stagnation. While the listed salary ranges can provide a base for salary negotiation, they can restrict employees from asking for a salary higher than the provided range, causing pay stagnation.
  • It can cause strife among employees. Employees will be able to compare their salaries and see if there are any current disparities among their team members. Employees could harbor resentment towards each other, making it more challenging to work together as a team.
  • Implementing it can be difficult and time-consuming. Developing and communicating a pay transparency policy in salary negotiations takes time. It takes research, the abidance of laws, and time to get it right.
  • Companies could lose out on the purple squirrel. The purple squirrel is the perfect candidate in hiring speak. With transparency in salary negotiations, companies may lose out on a premier candidate who desires a better salary to match their skills, education, and experience.

Negotiating a Salary with Pay Transparency

Here is a guideline on how you can negotiate your way to a better salary using pay transparency

  • Aim high. The law regarding pay transparency requires employers to post a good-faith salary range. That does not mean you cannot negotiate beyond it. Focusing on your abilities can help you aim high and ask for a higher salary, even when it falls on the outer edge of the provided range.
  • Ask your employer for pay transparency. New York City's pay transparency law regarding job postings is slowly expanding to other states. If your state still needs to adopt the new law, try asking your employer for pay transparency to ensure equitable pay within the workplace.
  • Take a broader view of your salary. Considering a more overall idea of your work benefits can help you receive maximum job satisfaction. Ensure your employer is compensating you accordingly based on other factors, like your work responsibilities and any travel costs you incur from getting to work.


The recent pay transparency laws can significantly bring in pay equity and improve employees' job satisfaction. It can also help employers stand out and attract the best talents in the industry. It has worked successfully at some companies and has caused impediments in others. Its success depends on a few factors, like a company's culture, size, and workforce roles.