August 11, 2020

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August 10, 2020

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New Jersey Bans Salary History Inquiries for Applicants

On July 25, 2019, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed NJ A1094 (the “Law”), banning salary history requests in New Jersey. Consistent with the growing trend, New Jersey joins the ranks of many other cities and states that have enacted salary history bans to combat pay inequity.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, New Jersey employers will no longer be able to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history, benefits, and other compensation during the hiring process. The Law makes it unlawful for an employer to: (1) screen a job applicant based upon the applicant’s salary history, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s prior wages, salaries, or benefits; or (2) require the applicant’s salary history to satisfy any minimum or maximum criteria.

Exceptions to the Law

There are several exceptions to the law. Employers may:

  • Consider and/or verify salary history if an applicant voluntarily, without employer prompting or coercion, provides the employer with salary history;

  • Request that an applicant provide the employer with a written authorization to confirm salary history, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s compensation and benefits, after an offer of employment has been made to the applicant that includes an explanation of the overall compensation package;

  • Consider salary history information when considering an internal transfer or promotion;

  • Consider salary history information that an employer has knowledge of due to the applicant’s prior employment with that same employer;

  • Act in compliance with any federal law that requires disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes or to determine an employee’s compensation;

  • Inquire about the terms and conditions of prior incentive or commission plans if the applicant is applying for a position with a commission or incentive compensation component, so long as the employer does not seek or require the applicant to disclose the applicant’s earnings under any plans with a prior employer; and

  • Communicate with applicants about wage or salary rates set for the job by collective bargaining agreements, the civil service law, or other laws, and pay the set rates if the applicant is hired.

Penalties for Violations of the Law

Employers who violate the Law will face civil penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation; $5,000 for the second violation; and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.

Employer Preparation for Jan. 1, 2020

Employers should review their hiring practices, job applications, interview guides and/or templates, recruiter instructions, and handbooks and modify their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Law. All persons responsible for interviewing applicants and hiring new candidates should be trained on the legal implications of these new hiring practices to prevent violations of the Law, the imposition of hefty monetary penalties associated with such violations, and the potential for exposure under the LAD.  

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 357

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About this Author

Kristine Feher, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, New Jersey, Labor and Immigration Litigation Law Attorney
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Kristine J. Feher is an experienced employment litigator and trial attorney, whose practice focuses on representing employers and managers in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases arising under employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. In addition, she litigates claims for...

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Danielle Gonnella Lawyer New Jersey Greenberg Traurig Employment Law
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Danielle E. Gonnella focuses her practice on representing employers and managers in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases arising under employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. In addition, Danielle handles wage payment and overtime compensation claims, including class actions, under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Danielle assists clients in a variety of employment matters including drafting policies and handbooks; ensuring wage and hour compliance; and defending Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state fair employment practice agency charges. Additionally, Danielle has an active pro bono practice, including criminal and family law matters.

Concentrations

  • Workforce compliance
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Workplace strategies
  • Class action employment litigation
  • Collective action employment litigation
973-443-3295