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Preparing for a coming change to New Jersey employment law

We’re grateful to those who regularly stop by our Morristown Employment Law Blog to check out news and views. You know that it has been a busy summer with revisions to New Jersey employment law coming at a furious pace.

We would like to dive back into a topic we covered briefly in a post back in late July: a new ban on employers asking job applicants about salary history.

As you’ll recall, proponents of the law that will take effect on Jan. 1 of next year say it will help to narrow the gender gap in pay by prohibiting employers from perpetuating the gap by basing salaries for new employees on past salaries that often reflect that gender pay inequity.

There are exceptions, however, that employers should be aware of as the new year approaches, including the following:

  • Employers with multistate operations can ask prospective employees about salary and benefits history as long as they make it clear to applicants for New Jersey jobs that they should not answer the question.
  • If an applicant voluntarily discloses their salary history, employers are free to verify the claims.
  • Employers are allowed to ask about terms and conditions of a prospective employee’s prior incentive compensation plan with previous employers if they’re interviewing for jobs that include incentive plans or commissions. (Note: employers can ask about terms and conditions, but not specific amounts the prior employer paid.)
  • Employment agencies can ask for salary histories, but cannot pass that information on to employers unless the job applicant gives written permission.

It’s important for employers to plan to comply with the new law. After all, fines for violations range from $1,000 to $10,000 per incident. Talk to a Morristown employment law attorney about this change and others coming so that you and your firm avoid painful penalties.

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