Zip Your Lips: New Jersey Employers Banned From Asking Salary History
On July 25, 2019, New Jersey passed a salary history ban, following in the footsteps of more than a dozen other states and cities that have already passed legislation intended to combat gender-based pay inequity. This law, signed by Acting Governor Sheila Oliver and effective January 1, 2020, will make it unlawful for private employers to ask job applicants about their salary history (prior wages and commissions), benefits, and other compensation. Employers will also be prohibited from requiring that an applicant's salary history satisfy certain minimum or maximum requirements.
Employers will only be allowed to consider salary history in a few, limited instances, including if an applicant voluntarily discloses salary history. Another key detail: After–and only after–an employer has made an offer of employment that includes the compensation terms, an employer may request written authorization from the applicant to confirm salary history.
Employers who violate the law can be fined up to $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 for violations thereafter.
Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group has experience working with human resources and recruitment personnel on modifying existing practices and forms, as well as providing cost-effective, short trainings on hiring dos and don'ts to ensure that employers do not inadvertently run afoul of the salary ban laws.
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