As of 2020, New Jersey employers, in general, may no longer ask applicants past salary information. If they do, it constitutes an unlawful employment practice. See N.J. Stat. § 34:6B-20. New Jersey joins more than a dozen other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and multiple local governments that have enacted similar provisions.
But there are several exemptions, such as voluntary disclosure, internal transfers, federal law or regulation requiring disclosure. If an employer does not fit into one of the exemptions, the employer should review and revise its applications and policies immediately.
The law imposes a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
The legislation also amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to create a cause of action for violations that affect a member of a protected class, such as race or sex, so in addition to fines, violations could result in civil litigation as well.