Job applicants in New Jersey are now protected by law from having to disclose past salary information to a prospective new employer. Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver signed A1094, a state law that bars employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history and using that information to screen potential employees.
The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, aims to reduce the wage gap that proponents of the law say is perpetuated by employers’ ability to make compensation offers based on the amount the worker made from their previous employer, including information about hourly or salary pay, commission, benefits, and other forms of compensation. A payment arrangement offer should be based on the job itself and the value that the employee brings to the company, and salary history should not be used to make assumptions on what the prospective employee will accept.
The wage gap cannot be mitigated without addressing the fact that many workers are underpaid. This issue mainly affects women and people of color. The new law is meant to address this workplace inequality. Companies posting jobs to be physically located in New Jersey will be required to remove all questions of past salary information from job applications and refrain from asking directly for such information from a potential new hire.
The job applicant may choose to disclose that information at will, and the company is free to inquire about it after an official compensation offer is made, but the goal of the new law is to keep employers from using that information to come up with an offer. Employers are also barred from requiring that a job applicant’s salary history falls within certain pay ranges. It is also illegal for the employer to allow the potential employee’s decision not to disclose prior pay figures to negatively impact their chances of employment.
Employers that skirt the new law will be fined up to $1,000 for a first offense, up to $5,000 for a second offence, and up to $10,000 for subsequent violations. Last year, Governor Phil Murphy instituted by executive order the same policy throughout New Jersey for potential state employees. A1094 is an extension of the administration’s belief that barring the practice will help create a fair and equal employment environment for all workers.
If you were denied a job based on your salary history, you may have reason to bring a suit against the hiring company. If you felt coerced into revealing information about your prior compensation package, you may have a case under the new law. The Long Branch employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. can help protect your rights. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson.