On March 27, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act - the nation's most strict equal pay legislation - to take effect July 1, 2018. The bill bans paying women or minorities any less than their male counterparts.
It's said to be a "national standard" that sends a message to employers. Under the new law, employers could be forced to pay six years of back wages.
What Employers Should Know
- The bill amends the state's Law Against Discrimination that banned employers from paying workers of "substantially similar work" different pay rates.
- If individuals are paid at different rates, it must be legitimized by difference in seniority, merit, or genuine factors outside of sex.
- The law will allow for up to six years of back pay for wage discrimination. This is a large difference from the federal Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that caps back pay at two years.
- It is prohibited under the new act for employers to retaliate against employees who request the disclose or discussion of information of co-worker's or former worker's pay.
- Public contractors are required to provide general information about their workers' demographic and pay.