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Yesterday, New York City’s pay transparency law went into effect. While the rules demanding “a good faith salary range for every job, promotion and transfer opportunity advertised” that an employer “honestly believes at the time they are listing the job advertisement that they are willing to pay the successful applicants” apply only within the five boroughs, it’s seen as all but inevitable that the practice will spread—either through similar legislation, like that coming to California next yar, or through sheer laziness on the part of companies with an NYC base or presence who don’t want to tease out which listings the law might cover and which they may not, and just make the kind of transparency sought by law their standard practice.

Of course, “honest belief” is a hard thing to demonstrate, and the early returns from the law certainly have their detractors. One might certainly question the “good faith” of The Wall Street Journal’s offering between $40,000 and $160,000 to experiences reporters and producers, or Amazon’s salary range of $88,400 to $185,000 for technology jobs. To us, it seems an almost refreshing embrace of the spirit of pay transparency to freely admit you’ll be paying women $100,000 less than men to do the same thing.

But that is not what we are here to discuss. We are here to discuss Citigroup’s listings offering candidates as much as $2 million a year—or as little as $0. Now, even with the rather flexible definition of “good faith” and “honest belief” required to fit salary ranges from x to 4x, this is a bit tough to take. And not just for us, but for the people charged with enforcing the law, the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

“The inquiry here would be whether Citi in good faith believes they would pay a candidate zero dollars, and at the same time believe the upper range for the same position is 2 million,” [spokesman Jose Lua Rios] said.

Well, as it turns out, Citi doesn’t believe any of that. It’s just that one of the world’s largest financial institutions can’t correctly type numbers.

We recently became aware of a technical issue that is causing some job postings to display a system default salary range instead of the correct range. We are proactively mitigating this issue by reviewing all job postings to ensure the correct range is listed.

Given all of the similar issues Citi has suffered in recent years, what might seem the lamest of lame excuses is all too believable. And even if the city decides to make an example of the bank, at a mere $250,000 per violation following a warning, it’ll be the cheapest fat finger in Citi history.

The correct range, by the way, is $59,340 to $149,320. So we’re glad they really cleared that up.

4 million NYC workers will now see how much jobs pay before they apply—here’s what to know [CNBC]
Some Companies Opt for Lame Loophole Under NYC's New Pay Transparency Law [Gizmodo]
NYC companies quickly find ways around new pay transparency legislation [Gothamist]

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