Pay equity map — How does NJ compare to other states?
MURRAY HILL — An interactive map created by labor law firm Fisher Phillips, which has an office in New Jersey and 31 other locations throughout the country, takes a state-by-state look at the laws in place to ensure that employees doing the same work get the same pay.
"Pay equity is emerging as one of the hottest topics in employment law this year, and probably for years to come," said Kathleen Caminiti, a partner in the firm's Union County office.
According to Caminiti, the map shows New Jersey is "in the middle of the pack" for pay equity.
Click on the image below to peruse the interactive map.
While some states on the map are shown to have no state-specific pay equity laws in effect, New Jersey specifically prohibits employers from discriminating "in any way in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex.”
Other states, such as New York and California, have more robust laws on the books addressing pay disparities among other classes beyond gender, such as race and ethnicity.
New Jersey protects against intentional discrimination involving non-gender classes, while others compare whether workers receive equal pay for equal work regardless of whether there is an intent to discriminate.
A piece of legislation advanced by a state Senate panel on Monday, which was crafted specifically to promote equal pay for women, would award back-pay to employees who were found to be the victim of discriminatory compensation.
In his first action as governor of New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy signed an executive order to promote equal pay among workers.
Under the order, state agencies and offices can't ask job applicants about their salary history or investigate their past wages until a conditional job offer is made.
“When a prospective employer asks a person’s salary history in an interview, they learn whether they can pay what that job is actually worth or what they can get away with,” Murphy said during the January event.
Caminiti, of Fisher Phillips, said it's expected that a law forbidding private employers from doing the same will be enacted in 2018.
Murphy said New Jersey women who work full-time make 82 cents for every dollar a man is paid for the same work. He says gaps are even worse for minorities – 58 cents for black women, 43 cents for Latinas.
With previous reporting by Michael Symons
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