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—Overview—

As of February 5, 2014, New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees are required to post a notice informing employees of their rights for equitable pay and to be free of gender discrimination. This Fast Facts explains what employers need to do in order to comply.

—Background—

On September 19, 2012, P.L.2012, c.57 (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.12) was signed into law to require employers with 50 or more employees to post a notice informing workers of their rights for equitable pay and prohibiting gender discrimination.

— Is this notice in addition to other notices concerning discrimination and equitable pay that employers are already required to post? — 

Yes, this notice is in addition to all other existing notices. It is intended to detail the right to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or other terms or conditions of employment under the Law Against Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. So, even if an employer has already posted a notice concerning the Law Against Discrimination, this notice must still be posted if the employer has 50 or more employees.

—Are all employees (part time, full time, etc.) counted when determining if an employer must comply?  

The regulations accompanying the law provide that all employees (whether those employees work inside or outside of New Jersey) should be included in an employer’s count when making the determination whether or not they need to comply.

—What are an employer’s responsibilities under this notice law? — 

Employers covered under the law must:

  • Post the notice in a conspicuous place (which could include an intranet or Internet site exclusively used by employees and to which all employees have access).
  • Provide a copy of the notice to all employees:
    • Within 30 days after it is issued by the department (February 5, 2014);
    • At the time of an employee’s hiring, if the employee is hired after the notice is issued;
    • Annually (on or before December 31 of each year); and;
    • Any time an employee requests a copy of the notice.
  • Receive signed acknowledgments that their employees have received and understand the notice. Employees are supposed to provide their signed acknowledgments within 30 days after they receive the information.

Employers with bi-lingual workforces must post and provide the notification in English, Spanish, and any other language for which the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has made the notification available and which the employer reasonably believes is the first language of a significant number of the employer’s workforce. To date, the notice has only been published in English and Spanish.

—In what fashion should the notice be distributed? — 

Under the law and the regulations, employers can distribute the notice (in addition to posting it) through paycheck inserts, new hire packets, attachments to handbooks, flyers, intranet or Internet websites, etc.

—Where are copies of the notice available?—

Employers may download and print the notice from the NJDOL’s website at no cost by visiting: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/EmployerPosterPacket/genderequityposter.pdf.

— What penalties may employers face for failing to post the required Notice? —

Although no penalties are explicitly included in the regulations or the law, failure to post the notice may be considered an aggravating factor in a discrimination lawsuit. Additionally, the newly enacted law supplements a long established wage discrimination statute, P.L.1952, c.9 (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.1 et seq.) which allows the NJDOL to issue fines up to a maximum of $250 for a first violation and up to a maximum of $500 for each subsequent violation. At this time, it is unclear whether the Department will invoke that statute to assess penalties.

For More Information

If you need additional information, please contact NJBIA’s Member Action Center at 1-800-499-4419, ext. 3 or member411@njbia.org.

This information should not be construed as constituting specific legal advice.  It is intended to provide general information about this subject and general compliance strategies.  For specific legal advice, NJBIA strongly recommends members consult with their attorney.