Employee Compensation Laws Under the New Jersey Equal Pay Act (NJEPA)
The primary purpose of the New Jersey Equal Pay Act is, as its name suggests, ensuring that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. Exceptions apply in cases where there are substantial disparities between a male and female co-worker in terms of their experience, seniority, or the level of tasks assigned to each. For example, it is lawful to pay different salaries in cases where one worker has many more years of experience, or where one worker is responsible for performing a more complicated or specialized set of tasks.
However, in cases where a man and woman share similar experience levels, skill levels, and levels of responsibility at work, equal compensation must be provided to each under the NJEPA. This is true regardless of whether employees are paid hourly wages or a yearly salary, and regardless of whether paychecks are issued on a weekly or biweekly basis. In addition to wages and salary, the NJEPA also extends to various job benefits, such as:
- Paid vacation time.
- Insurance coverage.
- Wellness programs.
- And other perks.
Though the main requirement of the New Jersey Equal Pay Act is that employers provide equal compensation to workers who perform equal tasks, it also contains requirements pertaining to notices informing employees of their rights under the law. To be specific, the NJEPA requires employers to post prominent notices of the equal pay requirement in areas that are visible and accessible to employees, potentially including company websites in cases where such a website exists. Furthermore, employers are required to give employees written notice describing the law on a yearly basis. Finally, employers must provide information about the NJEPA to any employee, regardless of gender, if such information is requested by the employee. However, requirements pertaining to employee notification apply only to companies with a minimum of 50 employees.