Job advertisements in New York will have to disclose proposed pay rates after a statewide salary transparency law went into effect on Sunday, part of growing state and city efforts to give women and people of colour a tool to advocate for equal pay for equal work.

Employers with at least four workers will be required to disclose salary ranges for any job advertised externally to the public or internally to workers interested in a promotion or transfer. Supporters say pay transparency will prevent employers from offering some job candidates less or more money based on age, gender, race or other factors not related to their skills. Advocates believe the change could also help underpaid workers realize they make less than people doing the same job.

Read: Pay transparency legislation spreading across U.S.

A similar pay transparency ordinance has been in effect in New York City since 2022. Now, the rest of the state joins a handful of others with similar laws, including California and Colorado.

“There is a trend, not just in legislatures but among workers, to know how much they can expect going into a job,” says Da Hae Kim, a state policy senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center.

The law, signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul in 2022, will also apply to remote employees who work outside of the state but who report to a supervisor, office or worksite based in the state. However, it won’t apply to government agencies or temporary help firms.

Read: New pay equity legislation aiming to close gender wage gap

Compliance will be a challenge, says Frank Kerbein, director of human resources at the New York Business Council, which has criticized the law for putting an additional administrative burden on employers.

To avoid trouble when setting a salary range, an employer should examine pay for current employees, says Allen Shoikhetbrod, an employment lawyer at Tully Rinckley, a private law firm.

But State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat representing parts of Queens, says the law is a win for labour rights groups. “This is something that, organically, workers are asking for. Particularly with young people entering the workforce, they’ll have a greater understanding about how their work is valued.”

Read: How employers can leverage pay transparency to achieve pay equity