HR Alert

New Jersey Passes Equal Pay Law

Law Effective July 1, 2018

A new state law expands coverage of existing law to prohibit discrimination in wages on the basis of any protected class. Highlights of the law include the following.

Prohibited Employer Actions

Under the new law (applicable to employers of all sizes), an employer may not pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, that is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility.

In addition, an employer who is paying a rate of compensation in violation of the new law may not reduce the compensation of any employee to comply with the law.

Exceptions

An employer may pay a different rate of compensation only if the employer demonstrates that the differential is made pursuant to a seniority or merit system, among other exceptions.

The law takes effect on July 1, 2018. Click here to read the new law, which includes additional exceptions.

Background
Current New Jersey law prohibits employers from discriminating in any job-related action, including (among other things) compensation and the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment on the basis of any of the law's specified protected categories (e.g., race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, and sex).


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