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Murphy to sign legislation to close gender pay gap

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The Legislature passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act on March 26 after four previous attempts.
The Legislature passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act on March 26 after four previous attempts. - ()

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday he will sign legislation that bolsters equal pay laws in New Jersey.

“There is no reason a woman in New Jersey should earn just 82 cents to the dollar made by a male for the same work,” Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday morning. “That’s why, two weeks from now on April 24, I will sign into law the most sweeping equal pay legislation in America to close the gender wage gap.”

The Legislature passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act on March 26 after four previous attempts. It guarantees equal pay for the same work for men, women and minorities. The Act amends the New Jersey Law against Discrimination.

“Thanks to the recent efforts of my colleagues in both the Assembly and the Senate, we are as close as ever to eliminating gender wage discrimination in New Jersey,” said bill co-sponsor and Deputy Speaker Pamela Lampitt, D-6th District. “Last month in the Assembly, we passed historic equal pay legislation that will ensure all women in New Jersey are valued based on their merit and not their gender by strengthening protections against employment discrimination. It is time that New Jersey sends the message that we will not tolerate wage discrimination, and I am eagerly awaiting Gov. Murphy signing this fundamental measure into law.”

 

Similar proposed legislation was vetoed by former Gov. Chris Christie, who said existing safeguards protected against unequal pay for the same work.

The new legislation is considered stronger because it allows for the longest look back period by any state law, six years, on past pay discrimination. Most states conform with the two-year look back set by the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

It also allows for treble damages, rather than the typical double, to be paid for violations if discrimination can be proved.

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