On behalf of our member companies that make NJBIA the largest, most impactful statewide business association in the nation, I write to you to express our concerns and suggestions regarding A-3937 (Moriarty/Danielsen), which would require employers to include salary ranges in job postings and provide notice for promotional opportunities.
We recognize that this legislation is modeled after national trends in which other cities and states are beginning to require salary transparency in various forms which have had various degrees of success. As evidenced by job postings in other states, salary range posting requirements have been a challenge in practice with certain salary ranges being very broad. Many factors contribute to broad salary range postings such as the different experience levels an employer may consider when seeking applicants. Whether a job is remote also can play a role in how broad a salary range can be when employers factor in the cost of living and tax burden of employing a worker from various parts of the nation. These factors can make salary range posting requirements a challenge or even ineffective in some instances in states that are implementing these types of policies. As a result, legislators will likely need to continue navigating and fine-tuning these policies. We ask the Legislature to fully consider implementation and analyze lessons learned in other states prior to enacting a New Jersey requirement.
If the Legislature chooses to pursue this initiative, we have several suggestions to make this policy as workable as possible for the business community and workers across the state.
- Remove private right of action – We strongly recommend removing section 1.d. to eliminate the private right of action from this legislation. An aggrieved person impacted by not seeing a salary range in job descriptions is undefined and can be construed so broadly to capture job applicants and potential or non-applicants who may have seen a job posting that is not in compliance with the bill. This will open the floodgates for litigation against employers for a minor violation that should be rightfully handled by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
- Remove promotional opportunity notice requirements – Promotional opportunities are handled uniquely at each company. Promotions are often a job title change to reward a hard-working employee, not the addition of a new position within the organization. Current employees do not apply for these positions in these scenarios. Requiring a promotion in this scenario to be posted in advance could take away the positive surprise for an employee who is going to be rewarded for their hard work. Additionally, internal promotional opportunities like this will not be applicable to all employees across departments of a business. For example, it would not be relevant to a finance employee if a promotion was offered to someone in the marketing department of their company because they are not qualified for that role anyway. For these reasons, we believe removing the promotional notification section entirely will make the most practical sense for employers. We do not believe the promotional notification requirement solves any problem that is currently present in workplaces. Promotional opportunities that create entirely new roles or that are done to fill job vacancies would likely already be captured by the salary range posting requirements in section 1.b.
- Allow for a warning instead of a fine for first violations – We suggest reducing the fines for a first violation from $1,000 to a written warning from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development for first-time violations. This will allow employers to receive a warning if they make an honest mistake with an initial job posting, particularly as the law begins to take effect. On subsequent violations, employers will be fully aware of the law and can face fines for violations.
- Increase number of employees in order to exempt small businesses– As currently written, this bill would apply to employers with 5 or more employees. In order to lessen the impact on small employers who may have less sophisticated hiring practices, we suggest increasing the employee threshold to businesses with 30 or more employees.