Assemblywoman Downey Calls for NJ to Lead the Way in Preventing Salary Discrimination

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Assemblywoman Joann Downey, author of legislation that would prevent employers in New Jersey from inquiring about potential employees’ salary histories, renewed calls for the Legislature to approve the measure, which aims to prevent race- and gender-based wage discrimination.

“The gender wage gap is insidious, and once a woman is paid less than her male counterparts, that inequality can follow her around for the rest of her career,” said Downey (D-Monmouth), “Employees should be paid based on their merits and experience, not what they were making in a prior job. I’m calling on my colleagues in the Legislature to help me push forward this important bill.”

The bill (A-3480) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Downey as well as her district mate Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. It would seek to strengthen protections against employment and wage discrimination by prohibiting employers from screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history or inquiring about salary histories of potential employees. The measure would also prevent employers from taking action against any employee that discloses salary information to fellow employees.

Similar salary history bans are in place in New York City, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts.  Downey’s bill has been approved by the Assembly Labor Committee and awaits further consideration.

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