New salary transparency laws could get you a raise, if you use them to your advantage.
As of January 1, employers in California and Washington are required by law to put salary ranges in job listings. In California, this is required for every employer with at least 15 employees. In Washington, employers also have to include a description of benefits and other compensation as well.
Similar laws already exist in states like Colorado and a handful of others. Last year, New York City added a similar requirement for “good faith” salary ranges to be out in job postings.
“The hope is that they will bring about more equity in salary negotiation,” said Lakeisha Mathews, who received a doctorate in education and is the president of the National Career Development Association.
A 2022 research article posted in the journal Nature found evidence that pay transparency causes increases in both the equity and equality of pay.
What does this mean for you, even if you live in a different state?
First of all, you can find out what others with your job title are making in different states and markets, which could help you negotiate your salary.
“Have your number, basically. What is your range that is acceptable for you? And it needs to be a realistic number based on your years of experience, your knowledge, skills, ability, education, and your strengths and your talents,” Mathews said.
Other tips for prospective employees, according to the Harvard Law School Program of Negotiation, is to aim high, ask for pay transparency regardless of the laws in your area, and look before salary. Weigh benefits and responsibilities as well.
“The top things an employer really is going to look at is years of experience and education,” Mathews said. “Before you jump out there, make sure that you maybe talk to a career specialist or career coach.”
About 46% of workers in the country are looking for or plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2023, according to a survey of professionals by employment agency Robert Half.