On Monday, March 26, 2018, both houses of the State Legislature passed Bill S104, strengthening protection for women and minorities against employment discrimination, and promoting equal pay for all protected groups. The Senate voted 35-0 and the Assembly voted 74-2.
The bill, which is scheduled to be signed by the Governor, will amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and make it unlawful for an employer to pay protected class employees a lower rate of compensation, including benefits, than non-protected class employees for “substantially similar work.”
The bill prohibits employers from reducing pay for non-protected class employees in order to comply. Employers will have to explain pay discrepancies by demonstrating how experience and education sets employees apart, pursuant to a seniority system, merit-based system, or based on legitimate bona fide factors other than a protected class, such as quantity and quality of production, etc. The bill also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for discussing rates of compensation and other issues. Moreover, the bill prohibits employers from asking or mandating employees or future employees from waiving their right to equal pay.
Additionally, the bill requires that an employer entering into a contract with the State provide a report concerning individuals employed in connection with the contract. The report must include information regarding the compensation and hours worked of employees by gender, race, ethnicity, and job category. Once signed, the bill will become law effective July 1, 2018.
For more information, please contact the Employment and Labor Department.
The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.