Assemblyman Moriarty Bill To Strengthen Equal Pay Protections For New Jersey Workers Heads to Governor

Aiming to close the significant wage gap between women and men, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty to prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their salary history in the application process received final legislative approval on Thursday, passing the full Senate 26-9.

The bill (A-1094) would prohibit employers from screening a job applicant based on his or her salary history, including prior wages, salaries or benefits. It would also make it unlawful for an employer to require an applicant’s salary history to satisfy any minimum or maximum criteria.

Under the measure, an employer may still consider salary history in determining salary, benefits and other compensation for the applicant, and may verify the applicant’s salary history, if an applicant voluntarily, without coercion, provides the employer with that history. An applicant’s refusal to volunteer compensation information will not be considered in any employment decisions.

“We’ve made great strides to ensure pay equity in New Jersey,” said Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester). “With the passage of this bill, we are another step closer to securing workers’ rights to equal pay for equal work for generations to come.”

Additionally, an employer who violates the bill’s provisions would be liable for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. Punitive damages, a standard remedy for violations under the Law Against Discrimination, would not be available for violations falling under this bill.

The measure passed the full Assembly in March by a vote of 53-24-2; it now goes to the Governor’s desk.