June 3, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 154


June 02, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 01, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

May 31, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

National Pay Transparency Bill Proposed

With states and municipalities across the country enacting pay transparency laws, a bill was recently introduced in Congress that would require disclosure of pay ranges to address concerns with pay equity nationwide. On March 14, 2023, United States Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced the “Salary Transparency Act,” or H.R. 1599, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require covered employers to disclose the “wage range” for open positions in job postings made publicly and internally.

‘Fail or Refuse to Disclose’

The bill would make it unlawful for employers to “fail or refuse to disclose” the “wage or wage range” for employment opportunities in public or internal postings. In situations in which a posting has not been made available to an applicant, employers would be required to disclose the wage range for the job “prior to discussing compensation with the applicant and at any time upon the applicant’s request.”

Employees would have the right to know the wage or wage range for their positions “upon hire” and at least once a year thereafter. It would further be a violation for an employer to “refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ” an employee or applicant or otherwise retaliate against such an individual for seeking disclosure of pay ranges.

‘Wage Range’

The bill would define “wage range” to mean the “range of wages, or salaries and other forms of compensation” that an employer “anticipates in good faith relaying on in setting the pay” for the job. In setting the range, employers would be able to reference applicable pay scales, a previously determined pay range, the pay range of those currently in equivalent positions, or the “budgeted amount for the position.”


Violations could result in civil penalties of $5,000 for a first violation, increased by $1,000 for each subsequent violations up to $10,000. Employers violating the act may also “be liable to each employee or applicant for employment who was the subject of the violation” for statutory damages of between $1,000 and $10,000 or actual damages, in addition to, attorneys’ fees and potential injunctive relief. The bill would further provide a right of action for employees or applicants allegedly aggrieved by violations and would allow them to pursue claims on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated.

Key Takeaways

The Salary Transparency Act comes amid a wave of similar state and local pay transparency laws — including CaliforniaColoradoNew York StateWashington, and New York City — that require employers to disclose wage ranges in job postings. However, the bill is in its early stages and the likelihood of passage is unclear at this point.

© 2023, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 90

About this Author

Kelly Cardin Employment lawyer Ogletree Deakins.

Kelly M. Cardin is an associate in the Stamford office of Ogletree Deakins. Her practice focuses on representing employers in a wide range of disputes, including those involving discrimination and retaliation claims, wage and hour claims, wrongful discharge claims, and claims under the FMLA. Kelly also represents employers in class action lawsuits, often involving wage and hour issues. Additionally, she maintains a commercial litigation practice, representing companies in breach of contract and trade secret disputes, among others. Kelly has represented clients before the...

203 969 3109

Nicole S. Mulé is an associate in the Stamford office of Ogletree Deakins. Nicole devotes a substantial amount of her practice to employment litigation where she defends employers in a wide range of disputes including those involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, and breach of contract claims. Nicole represents employers in state and federal court and she regularly handles agency matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Connecticut Department of Labor.


Senior Marketing Counsel

In the Senior Marketing Counsel role, Zachary develops strategy for the firm’s blog and other content. He serves as a lead writer for articles and blog posts for publication on the firm’s website both individually and in consultation with firm attorneys. He also works closely with the Client Services department and firm attorneys to develop relevant content, including through use of webinars, publications, blogs, podcasts, and graphics.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Zachary served as a Senior Reporter for Law360, a leading online legal news publication, covering the sports and...