Recently, lead segments on numerous national news programs focused on a new law, effective November 1, 2022, that requires covered employers to disclose a good faith salary range (including the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly rate) for every job, promotion, and transfer opportunity that is advertised. Anyone casually listening to such segments may not have realized that the much publicized and debated law, commonly referred to as a pay transparency law, was recently enacted in the State of New York.
Today, more and more states have enacted or are creating pay transparency laws similar to that of New York. While neither North Carolina nor South Carolina has adopted a pay transparency law that would require the public disclosure of wages, other state and federal statutory laws regarding the disclosure and discussion of employees’ wages should be noted and complied with by North Carolina and South Carolina employers. For example:
- Under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, North Carolina employers are required to communicate in writing (for instance, in an offer letter) an employee’s wage rate, pay day and place of payment (for example, via hand delivery at a specific location, via check or via direct deposit). In addition, North Carolina employers must provide written notice of any decrease in salary, wages or like benefits at least one (1) pay period prior to the change.
- Under the Payment of Wages Act, South Carolina employers are required to provide written notice to employees at the time of hiring of the normal hours and wages agreed upon, the time and place of payment, and any deductions that will be made from the employee’s wages, including payments to insurance programs. Notably, this written notice can be fulfilled by posting the terms conspicuously at or near the place of work. Any changes in these terms must be made in writing at least seven (7) calendar days before they become effective.
- National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) – Under the NLRA, employers, including those in North Carolina and South Carolina, cannot prohibit employees from discussing or disclosing their wages and other benefits, even with other employees.
Notably, the failure to comply with the above referenced laws can be significant! Hence, employers with questions regarding these and other potentially applicable laws or acts are encouraged to contact the attorneys of Law Firm Carolinas for further consultation and assistance.