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Countdown to New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Pay Equity Act

On July 1, 2018, only ten days from now, the Diane B. Allen Pay Equity Act (Act) goes into effect, broadening New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to promote equal pay for all employees covered under the law.

The Act, considered one of the most comprehensive and pro-employee equal pay laws in the nation, significantly expands equal pay protections under the LAD and even beyond the federal Equal Pay Act. Under the Act:

  • Pay discrimination prohibitions are not limited to sex but extend to all classes protected by the LAD, i.e., race, creed, color, national origin ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, pregnancy/breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, disability, or service in the armed forces;

  • Anti-retaliation (“pay transparency”) protections are extended to employees who discuss or disclose information about pay and benefits;

  • Employers may be subject to more severe monetary penalties for violations; and

  • Employees have a longer period of time in which to bring a pay discrimination claim.

For details of the Act, see our article, Double Take: New Jersey Governor Poised to Enact Equal Pay Act.

WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS DO BEFORE JULY 1?

Employers that have not already done so should begin to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with the Act and mitigate potential risk.

Review Handbooks/Policies and Revise as Necessary

Employers should review handbooks, policies, employment contracts, and any other personnel documents and remove any terms prohibiting employees from requesting, discussing or disclosing compensation, benefits, and other protected equal pay information, such as job title and occupational category.

Notify and Provide Training to Managers and Recruiters

Employers should ensure managers and recruiters, including third-party recruitment sources, are aware of the Act and company pay transparency policies.

Begin Reviewing Hiring and Compensation Policies

To be able to defend and explain pay and differences in pay, an employer needs to understand how compensation is set. Employers should begin to review hiring and pay policies and practices to ensure employees are receiving equal pay for substantially similar work.

Begin Reviewing Jobs and Job Descriptions

Employers also should begin to review job titles, job responsibilities, and job descriptions to identify which roles may be considered “substantially similar” for pay purposes under the Act.

Consider Conducting a Privileged Pay Equity Analysis

Employers should begin to consider whether to conduct a privileged, proactive pay equity analysis to identify and resolve potential issues before a claim arises.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Bianca Iozzia, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Associate

Bianca N. Iozzia is an Associate in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in a variety of workplace law matters including preventive advice and counsel.

While attending law school, Ms. Iozzia was a Staff Writer for the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and Research Assistant to the Director of Villanova’s Moorad Center for Sports Law.

Prior to joining...

267-319-7811
K. Joy Chin, Jackson Lewis, wage benefits lawyer, affirmative action attorney
Principal

Joy Chin is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining the firm in 1995, her practice has been devoted exclusively to employment law and related litigation and the firm’s regulatory practice.

Ms. Chin has litigated matters before local, state and federal administrative agencies and in state and federal courts. Ms. Chin is a frequent speaker on affirmative action and creating lawful diversity programs and spends much of her time counseling employers on issues relating to diversity, EEO, and affirmative action compliance. Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Chin was an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, New York, and in Nassau County, New York.

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