Recently, two bills were proposed to the New Jersey Legislature to amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The bills each set forth an amendment that would prohibit employers from asking about or relying upon an employee’s prior salary history in order to determine their salary when hiring.
Assembly Bills A3480, introduced on March 14, 2016 and A4119, introduced on September 15, 2016, were combined on October 13, 2016. A3480/A4119 ACS would make it unlawful for an employer to seek an employees’ wage or salary history or make such disclosure a condition of employment. Furthermore, employers would be prohibited from coercing a prospective employee to disclose wage or salary history. The amendment would not prohibit an employee from voluntarily disclosing his or her salary history. Additionally, an employer would only be permitted to confirm or ask the prospective employee to confirm their salary history after making an offer of employment.
Senate Bill 2536, S2536, was introduced on the same date as A3480/4119 ACS. Similar to the Assembly Bill, the proposed amendment to the LAD would prohibit an employer from screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history. An employer would be prohibited from requiring an employee’s prior wages, salaries, or benefits meet a minimum or maximum criteria. It would also make it an unlawful practice for an employer to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history. The only way an employer could inquire about salary history from a prospective employee would be with said employee’s voluntary, written authorization to the employer.
The bills, if passed, would require employer’s to alter their hiring processes and make sure that reference to salary, wage, and benefit history would be removed from the hiring process. Failure to comply with the bills could amount to an unlawful practice or discriminatory act in violation of the LAD.