Last month, at our breakfast seminar on DOL Hot Topics, I reported on ordinances adopted in New York City and Philadelphia, which prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. These laws seek to eliminate gender pay gaps and remove salary history from the job application process because of it’s propensity to perpetuate discriminatory pay practices primarily aimed at women. Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that has adopted such a law.
On June 1, 2017 the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee approved a bill pending in the Senate and Assembly that would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination “to strengthen protections against employment discrimination and thereby promote equal pay for women.” The proposed amendment would prohibit employers from screening a job applicant based on salary history and from inquiring about the salary history of a job applicant. The law also contains a “salary secrecy” provision that would prohibit employers from taking reprisals against any current employee who discloses to another employee information about the rate of compensation of any current or former employee of the employer.
New Jersey is one of multiple jurisdictions contemplating such legislation. We will continue to keep you posted on these issues, as they will affect every single employer and employee in the state if they come to pass.