Late last month, New Jersey amended its Equal Pay Act to require larger companies to tell employees they have the right to be free from sex discrimination with respect to their pay. The New Jersey Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination based on sex regarding salary, benefits, and other compensation. Employees can recover double damages (called liquidated damages) plus attorney’s fees if they have been paid less due to their gender.
The new amendment to the Equal Pay Act requires companies with 50 or more employees to post a conspicuous notice to all of their workers, explaining their right not to experience gender inequality or bias in the terms and conditions of their employment, including compensation and benefits. The notice must specifically reference several laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on gender, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the federal Equal Pay Act.
The amendment, which is scheduled to go into effect in November, also will require covered employers to provide all of their employees an individual notice explaining that pay discrimination based on sex violates both New Jersey and federal law. The New Jersey Department of Labor will be writing the notice. Once it is available, covered companies will have 30 days to provide a copy of the notice to all of their employees. Companies also will have to provide a copy of the notice (1) to all employees once per year, (2) to each new employee when they are hired, and (3) to any employee who requests it.
Companies will have the choice to send the notice by email, in print, as an attachment to the company’s employee handbook or manual, or by telling employees it is available on a company Internet or Intranet website. The notice will require employers to have employees sign and return the notice within 30 days to confirm they received, read, and understand it.
Our employment lawyers can help if you have experienced discrimination at work with respect regarding your, or any other term or condition of your employment in New Jersey or New York. Our telephone number is (973) 744-4000.