New NJ law makes asking about salary history unlawful
On July 25, 2019, New Jersey Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver signed A1094 into law, which will prevent employers from asking about workers’ wage and salary history. The law will take effect six months after the bill was signed. Shortly after taking office in January 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy had signed Executive Order 1 to ban this discriminatory practice in state government.
The new law makes it an unlawful employment practice in New Jersey for any employer to screen a job applicant based on their salary history, including prior wages, salary, commission, benefits or any other current or previous compensation. According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the law is intended to address pay inequity and is designed to ensure that employees in the state receive salaries that are commensurate with their skills, qualifications, and experience.
In response to this new law, employers in the Garden State should take the following steps:
- Revise employment applications to eliminate any questions regarding salary history; and
- Train any employees who recruit, interview and/or hire on behalf of the employer regarding the requirements of the new law.
Employers should consult with experienced human resources professionals and/or labor and employment counsel with any questions regarding this new legislation. For MEA members, the Hotline and a Member Legal Services attorney are available to provide this assistance.
About the Author
Amy McAndrew is MEA’s Director of Member Legal Services and has over twenty years of experience as a labor and employment attorney.