The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act has been passed in New Jersey and becomes the law on July 1, 2018. It affects all New Jersey businesses, and can impact out-of-state companies doing business in New Jersey. The key provisions of the Act are as follows:
- It is unlawful to pay compensation and benefits to an employee of a protected class less than the pay to an employee not in the same class for “substantially the same work”.
- Employer must show that any difference is due to seniority, merit or “legitimate bona fide factors other than sex”.
- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for “requesting, disclosing or discussing information” about compensation.
- Employers are also prohibited from reducing the rate of compensation of any employee to comply with the new Act.
- Statute of limitations is six years, which restarts after each occurrence of a discriminatory compensation decision.
- Plaintiff is eligible to receive monetary damages for every violation during the previous six (6) years. When a violation is proven, the employee recovers three times (3x) the underpayment.