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Companies lower salaries in job postings due to pay transparency laws

48% of companies lowered advertised salaries in the past year, survey finds

State and local pay transparency laws enacted over the last few years have more employers disclosing salary ranges in job descriptions.

Yet, wages aren’t growing as expected. The growth of advertised wages for new hires is slowing, according to a report from job posting service ZipRecruiter — and in some cases it’s reversing, with companies now posting lower pay ranges.

Some jobs go unfilled as employers lower pay ranges

Some employers don’t follow pay transparency rules

Sturti | E+ | Getty Images

About 30%-40% of employers are not complying with new state pay transparency laws, according to Revelio Labs, a workforce analytics firm. The compliance rate sits near 70% in the states that have had laws in place since 2021.

In Washington State, job applicants and current employees can file a complaint or bring a civil lawsuit if a company doesn’t comply with the law. The state Department of Labor & Industries says it has received 307 complaints so far this year and has 39 currently under investigation.

Companies in Washington that are allegedly not in compliance also face numerous class action lawsuits. Attorney Timothy W. Emery, partner at Emery Reddy, a Seattle-based workers’ rights law firm, has filed dozens of lawsuits against employers in the state.

“We have had so many clients reach out to us who are still facing pay inequality,” said Emery. “We felt now was the time to take action on their behalf and put an end to these illegal practices once and for all.”

Other companies post pay even when not required

But there has also been a spillover effect with companies that have complied with pay transparency laws. Nearly 40% of firms post salaries for jobs even in states that don’t have a requirement, according to Revelio data.

“With the rise of remote work, it’s just too much hassle for employers to figure out” how to adjust their postings to comply with varying state and local requirements, said Lisa Simon chief economist for Revelio Labs.

SalesLoft, a revenue workflow platform based in Atlanta, publishes pay for all of its jobs posted in the U.S.

“We don’t want to waste anybody’s time [by taking] them through a whole interview process,” said Katie Cox Brahnam, vice president of people at SalesLoft.

The company also benchmarks salaries on an annual basis.

“We assess existing employees salaries during our once-a-year merit increase and make adjustments to make sure that we have pay equity between existing employees and anybody that we bring in,” Brahnam noted. 

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