On January 6, New Jersey employers must begin complying with new posting and notice requirements under the New Jersey Equal Pay Act.
On December 11, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) released the new mandatory gender equity notice,1 implementing a 2012 amendment to the New Jersey Equal Pay Act. The amendment, as implemented by the NJDOL, requires New Jersey employers to inform employees of their “right to be free from gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or other terms or conditions of employment” under state and federal antidiscrimination statutes.2 Although the amendment was passed in 2012, the law provides that the notice and posting requirements become effective when the final form of notice is published in the New Jersey Register3—an event now scheduled to occur on January 6, 2014.4 Beginning on that date, employers in New Jersey with a total of 50 or more employees—whether those employees work in or outside of the state—will have to comply with the following new notice and distribution obligations:
- On or before January 6, 2014, covered employers must conspicuously post the form of notice in each of their locations in an area that is accessible to all employees. (Note: If an employer has an Internet site or intranet site for exclusive use by its employees and to which all employees have access, the employer may satisfy the posting requirement by placing the notice on the site.)
- On or before February 5, 2014, covered employers must provide a written copy of the notice to each employee who was hired on or before January 6, 2014.
- Covered employers must provide a written copy of the notice to each employee who is hired after January 6, 2014 at the time of his or her hire.
- Annually, on or before December 31 of each year, covered employers must provide each employee a written copy of the notice.
- Covered employers also must provide each employee a written copy of the notice upon request.
The required written notice can be distributed electronically or in hard copy form. In every instance in which a written notice is required to be provided to an employee, the written notice must be accompanied by an acknowledgment that the employee has received it and has read and understands its terms. This acknowledgment must be signed by the employee (in writing or by means of electronic verification) and returned to the employer within 30 days of the employee’s receipt of the notice. Employers should begin addressing now how they will satisfy this new administrative burden.
In addition, the notice must be posted in English and Spanish and any other language spoken by 10% or more of the employer’s workforce, provided that the NJDOL has issued a form of notice in that language. Presently, the form of notice is only available in English; the NJDOL is in the process of creating translations.
As the end of 2013 approaches, New Jersey employers should prepare to distribute these required notices, prepare to collect acknowledgments, and ensure that postings are current.