Rights of Employees
Unfortunately, pay discrimination is common in the workplace. Employers often pay comparable employees different salaries for substantially similar work without any good reason.
Fortunately, New Jersey and New York law prohibit employers from paying you less because of your age, gender, race, color, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin, or another legally-protected category.
If you have been the victim of pay discrimination at your job, please feel free to contact us online or to call us at (973) 744-4000.Extremely Broad Protections for New Jersey Employees
New Jersey has an extremely strong law that protects employees against pay discrimination. For example, instead of requiring the employee to prove the reason she was paid less is discriminatory, New Jersey's Equal Pay Act places the burden of proof on the employer to show that the reason it paid you less than your coworkers was not discriminatory.
In addition, New Jersey's Equal Pay Act has a six-year look-back periodmaking it possible to recover damages going back up to six years. It also provides for treble (triple) damages, meaning you can recover three times your actual economic losses. Those remedies are on top of the right to recover damages for the emotional distress that you experienced as a result of the discrimination, and the ability to recover your attorney's fees from your employer.
For additional information about your rights, please read our article: New Jersey Enacts Stronger Equal Pay Law.Gender and Race Discrimination in Pay
Perhaps the most common forms of pay discrimination are based on gender, race and color. Historically, women and people of color have been paid far less than white males who perform the same (or similar) work.
While the pay gap may have somewhat narrowed over time, female, African American and Latino workers still are paid far less than their white male counterparts who have the same level of education, training and experience. These forms of race, color and gender discrimination violate the law.
State and federal anti-discrimination laws including the Equal Pay Act ("EPA"), the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") and the New York Human Rights Law ("NYHRL") prohibit companies from using gender, race, color or another prohibited discriminatory reason to pay you a lower salary, smaller bonus, lower commissions, or to deprive you of another benefit it provides to your peers.Protection for Employees Who Share Salary Information
In an effort to protect employees who want to learn whether they have been the victim of pay discrimination, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who ask a current or former coworker about their compensation or benefits. For more information about this legal protection please see our article: Governor Christie Signs Two New Employment Laws.Contact Us
If you have been underpaid for a discriminatory reason, then you should contact one of the New Jersey pay discrimination attorneys at Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg. Our telephone number is (973) 744-4000.Related Articles
If you would like to learn more about equal pay claims, we recommend you read one of the following articles on our Employment Law Blog: