On March 14 New Jersey took a step in being a leader in gender equality with one of the most comprehensive pay equity bills pending in state legislatures around the nation. S922/A2750, the New Jersey Pay Equity Act, sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, will give women formidable tools to combat pay discrimination and remedy an injustice that has gone on for far too long. With a growing number of New Jersey women responsible for supporting their families, pay equity is not only a matter of justice for themselves, but also a matter of economic security for their families.
In New Jersey, women earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men in the same field, despite national legislation such as the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009. States around the nation are recognizing the persistence of wage discrimination and taking similar legislative approaches and remedies as New Jersey. For women of color the situation is even more dire, with African-American women earning 64 cents, and Latinas only 56 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
Both houses have passed this bill with strong bi-partisan support. It now sits on Governor Christie’s desk, awaiting his signature. Email the governor and urge him to set an example for states across the nation because women are not worth less. It only takes a moment to let yUUr voice be heard!
The New Jersey Pay Equity Act :
– Requires companies with public contracts to disclose info about the compensation by Sex (and race too) of all employees;
– Expands the previously established prohibition against paying women less who are in identical jobs as men, to include jobs that are similar or comparable;
– Establishes triple damages to employers who violate the law and discriminate against women;
· Allowing employees the right to tell each other what they earn without fear of retribution from employers, prohibits employers from making people sign a contract in which they are sworn not to disclose their compensation to co-workers;
· Extending the time in which a discrimination lawsuit can be taken (expands the statute of limitations) by making every paycheck an possible offense, thus restarting the clock on statute of limitations every time someone is paid.
#WomenAreNotWorthLess #CloseTheGap #PayEquity
Laurice Grae-Hauck is the Outreach Coordinator of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ.