Both houses of the N.J. Legislature overwhelmingly passed a sweeping equal pay protection law that applies to every employer in the state, regardless of size. When signed by Governor Murphy, the law will:
- make it unlawful for an employer to offer lower pay and benefits to a worker protected by the state Law Against Discrimination, which includes "protected classes" such as women and minorities, compared with others who perform "substantially similar work;"
- permit workers to talk about their “compensation” which includes wages and benefits, with co-workers and lawyers;
- prohibit employers from cutting the wages of higher-paid staff in order to make salaries comparable;
- permit employees, or a group of employees, to recoup up to six years’ worth of back pay, up from two under current law; and
- allow employees to recoup three times as much as they were denied in compensation.
The bill also directs the Commissioner of the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development to issue regulations requiring employers entering state contracts to disclose and file employee compensation information to the state in the form of “pay bands.”
The bill passed 35-0 in the Senate and 74-2 in the Assembly. Governor Murphy has stated he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
What does this mean for New Jersey employers?
Join EANJ legal staff for a one-hour update on Tuesday May 15, 2018 at 10am that will cover what New Jersey employers need to know.