Governor Phil Murphy’s first official act as Governor of the State of New Jersey was to issue an executive order promoting pay equality for women. According to the order, applicants will no longer be required to disclose their pay history to state entities in the application process. If a state entity improperly asks an applicant about their pay history, the applicant may report the violation to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the agency tasked with overseeing the implementation of the order.
Laws Prohibiting Gender Discrimination
Applicants and employees are protected from gender discrimination by both federal and state law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, color, religion or national origin. Both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and the New Jersey Equal Pay Act also prohibit gender discrimination in employment. The LAD prohibits employment discrimination based on several characteristics including race, national origin, religion, disability, age and sex, whereas the Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination regarding rate or method of pay based on an employee’s sex.
Women Still Make Less Than Men
Despite federal and state regulations, women still make less than men. Murphy noted that women in New Jersey are making 82 cents to the dollar to their male counterparts for the same work. He stated that the systemic failure led to a loss of more than $32 billion in combined wages.
A senator and sponsor of a similar bill in 2016 attributes the disparity to pay history. Employers often ask applicants to disclose their past salaries and then use that information against them. Women who apply for their first job are typically willing to accept lower offers in order to secure the job. They are then at a disadvantage when attempting to negotiate their salary during subsequent interviews.
The Executive Order
Under the executive order, state entities are prohibited from asking applicants about their current or previous salaries or asking previous employers about the applicant’s salary until a conditional offer of employment is made. An applicant’s refusal to disclose their salary history may not be a considering factor in employment decisions. Also, if the state entity already possesses the applicant’s salary history, they may not use that information in an employment decision. Murphy suggested that if the New Jersey Legislature presents him with a bill that would make the order state law, he will sign it into effect.
Marlton Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Gender Discrimination
If you experienced gender discrimination when you applied for a job, during your interview or during the course of your employment, contact a skilled Marlton employment lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of New Jersey gender discrimination claims and will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including those Middletown, Cherry Hill, Marlton and Red Bank. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation.