How N.J.’s tough new pay equity law works

How N.J.'s tough new pay equity law works

The statistic we normally hear is that women in New Jersey earns 82 cents for every dollar men earn. This is calculated by analyzing federal labor statistics and comparing the median annual earnings of women in the state to the median annual earnings of men. Since data are not available for every profession, we have relied on economic studies and research done by firms on their own workforce. Glassdoor, the popular salary comparison website, found that women make 5.4 percent less when comparing workers with the same job title, employer, and location. However, this may be higher or lower depending on the occupation.

23 Mayıs 2018 - 02:00

Continuing his streak of signing liberal legislation into law, Gov. Phil Murphy last month enacted the "Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act," which protects women and minorities in the state from workplace discrimination.

Employers who pay one person more than another will now have to justify, if challenged, how the better-compensated employee's is better in terms of experience and education.

The new law is named after the longtime state senator who left her broadcasting job in 1994 after filing gender and age discrimination complaints with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Allen retired from the Senate in January.

But how will the law work?

Elaine Zundl, research director for the Rutgers Center for Women and Work at the School of Management and Labor Relations, answered NJ Advance Media's questions.

Here's what you need to know: 

 


How much less do women earn than men in the same job? How has this been proven?

The statistic we normally hear is that women in New Jersey earns 82 cents for every dollar men earn. This is calculated by analyzing federal labor statistics and comparing the median annual earnings of women in the state to the median annual earnings of men. Since data are not available for every profession, we have relied on economic studies and research done by firms on their own workforce. Glassdoor, the popular salary comparison website, found that women make 5.4 percent less when comparing workers with the same job title, employer, and location. However, this may be higher or lower depending on the occupation.

 

DianeAllen

Former state Senator Diane Allen listens as Gov. Phil Murphy signs into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act on April 24, which promotes equal pay among all groups of people in the state of New Jersey. (Andrew Maclean | NJ Advance Media)

How will the law work?

The law has three major components.

First, it closes loopholes that allowed companies to retaliate against employees who inquire about their co-workers’ wages or salary.

Second, it allows for monetary damages up to six years from the first discriminatory pay period on compensation and wages. The court can require an employer to pay triple the damages if found guilty.

Finally, the law requires firms that enter contracts with the state to send data about pay equity to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.


Kaynak:Nj.com

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