By SHERRI RUGGIERI
On April 24th, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2018 and requires equal pay for “substantially similar” work. All New Jersey employers are required to comply with the Equal Pay Act; furthermore, salary comparisons from a company’s facilities outside of New Jersey can be used. The wage and hour standard for “substantially similar” work must be based upon legitimate business necessity. Employers will bear the burden to show that differences in compensation are based upon training, experience, quality, or quantity.
The Equal Pay Act applies to all of the protected categories from the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). In other words, any wage differential for “substantially similar” work cannot be based upon:
- national origin,
- sexual orientation or gender expression,
- marital, domestic partnership or civil union status,
- or membership in the armed forces.
The Act has a six-year look-back period and a prohibition against retaliation. New Jersey’s wage and hour compensation landscape will significantly altered by this new law.
Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News and wonders if equal pay for “substantially similar” work will finally enable equal pay for equal work or will loopholes maintain the status quo?
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