New Jersey Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The New Jersey Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from discriminating in the rate or method of payment of wages because of an employee's sex (NJ Rev. Stat. 34:11-56.1 et seq.).
Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in protected activity under the law. Employees are protected from retaliation if they take any of the following actions:
• Make a complaint to the employer, the labor department, or any other person,
• Start any proceeding under the Act or related to the Act, or
• Testify or are about to testify in any proceeding.
Pay differentials based on reasonable factors other than sex are permitted. In comparing jobs for equal pay purposes, the job title is irrelevant; the nature of the work is what matters. Thus, if janitors (typically male) and maids (typically female) perform the same type of work under the same conditions, they should be compensated equally.
The Act does not apply to nonprofit hospital associations or to persons employed in farm work or domestic service in a home or hotel.
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Reasonable factors other than sex typically include:
• Seniority
• Commission systems
• Performance or productivity based bonus systems
• Merit systems
Any such system must be bona fide. If the commissioner of labor determines that the system is merely a screen to hide discriminatory intent, it will be invalidated.
The Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to post a notice detailing a worker's right to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment under state and federal law (NJ Rev. Stat. 34:11-56.12 ). In addition, employers must provide ...

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