Another Disruption: Pay Transparency

Pay transparency has been in the news a lot lately. Still, many are unclear about what pay transparency actually means, how far it goes or what the results of pay transparency legislation will be.

There are good reasons for this. For starters, the laws on pay transparency are generally intended to address gender and other forms of bias in the workplace. However, they may cause unintended results instead, such as lower rates of morale and decreased engagement levels at work.

For example, within one week after New York City’s pay transparency law was enacted, Bloomberg News reported that approximately 400 large national employers posted salary ranges, including minimum salary rates.

Surprisingly enough, these minimum salary rates for certain jobs were not even equivalent to 50% of the maximum salaries that were listed. This not only shows that pay rates are objective, but it can make potential employees who are job searching feel disrespected by employers’ willingness to pay so little for the work at hand.

As it currently stands, more than 20 states and local jurisdictions have already passed pay transparency laws or disclosure-related rulings. Unfortunately, not all pay transparency laws are consistent across the board.

Some pay transparency laws only require employers to list pay ranges as part of their active job postings, while other laws are only required to disclose pay ranges if applicants or potential hires explicitly ask for this information. Other disparities may impact these laws and what they enforce.

For example, certain pay transparency laws do not require employers to include bonuses, tips, stock options or benefits when disclosing pay opportunities. There are many yet-to-be-answered questions regarding pay transparency laws as well.

For example, under New York state law, the only companies that must comply with the state’s pay transparency law are those that employ four workers or more. However, certain questions often arise regarding whether remote employees are included in the calculation of employees under New York state law or if the law only applies to employees who are physically located in the state.

Regulations will typically clarify many of these issues, but that is not helpful for employers who are trying to be compliant in the meantime. While it can be confusing, one thing is clear: Employees and job seekers alike should be able to search the internet to see how much money people in similar positions earn. This is a fact that all employers should keep in mind, whether or not they are located in a state that currently has pay transparency laws in place.

Employers should also understand that they might be exempt from state-related pay transparency rules for now, but their current status does not promise their exemption forever. Employers should think about how they would handle compliance with pay transparency laws, despite how they may affect their business.

This is because employees, as a whole, are more likely to understand what their pay should be, thanks to pay transparency measures being taken across the board. Ultimately, pay transparency is equipping employees with power they did not have before, and it is making it harder to attract talent when the pay is subpar.

Pay transparency as a differentiator

A good way for employers to differentiate themselves from their competition is by recognizing the dollar value of their benefits package. Benefits can make up a significant percentage of an employee’s salary.

For example, if an employer offers to pay 100% of their employees’ health care costs or 80% of their health care costs in addition to dental or vision coverage, these benefits can total between 10% and 25% of the employees’ annual salaries. Ultimately, employers should be very specific about the benefits that they offer.

Benefits like tuition reimbursement, for example, can translate to a dollar amount in the same way health care coverage can. It might also be a benefit that employers in the same field are not offering, which can give you a leg up as an employer and a reason for potential hires to accept your job offer over offers for the same position with other employers.

When speaking to applicants about the benefits you offer as an employer, present the dollar amount of the benefits as well as what that value amounts to as a percentage of the salary being offered.

For instance, someone who has a job offer for a salary of $50,000 and a benefits package worth 25% of that would have a package that amounts to $12,500. This means that the employee would effectively earn $62,500 in total.

Legal concerns about pay transparency

Many state and local pay transparency laws are relatively ambiguous in terms of what they require of employers. For example, employers should consider the following information:

  • What do pay transparency laws say about jobs performed remotely?
  • What happens if a remote worker needs to work in the jurisdiction a few times each year?
  • Do pay transparency laws apply to jobs performed by seasonal workers?
  • What about part-time employees, interns and independent contractors?
  • How do pay transparency laws affect bonuses, tips and stock options?
  • Can an employer ask an applicant about their pay history?

Statistics highlighting the importance of pay transparency

A recent ResumeLab survey reported that 80% of people stated that they would refrain from applying for a job if the salary range was not included in the job listing. Additionally, approximately 79% of people said they believe employers do not include salary information when posting job opportunities because they do not want current employees to realize they are being underpaid.

These statistics are just two of many instances that reflect the importance of pay transparency, especially for job applicants. Likewise, employers should take the time to consider the impact of pay transparency on the company’s retention rates and recruitment efforts.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.