The Governor has signed a bill that amends the NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees for requesting information about current and former employees, including job title, occupational category and rate of compensation, including bonuses and benefits, as well the gender, race, ethnicity, military status or national origin of current or former employees. The law takes effect immediately and will arguably create a nightmare for HR managers.
Among other things, the law facilitates investigations into wage discrimination by current and former employees and lawyers, which includes bonuses, "other compensation" and benefits. While the law does not require disclosure of information, it raises complex issues on how to handle such requests and the types of polices an employer is permitted to have. It also raises difficult issues about the disclosure of confidential and proprietary information considering that LAD already protects employees who "aid or encourage" other employees in pursuing their legal rights.
John J. Sarno
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