New Jersey employers will be barred from asking job applicants about their salary histories under a new law aimed at combating the gender pay gap.
Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver signed legislation Thursday that makes it illegal for employers to screen applicants based on their prior wages, salary, commission, benefits, or other compensation. Violators will face fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for subsequent infractions.
The new law takes effect in six months.
Women working full-time in New Jersey earn on average 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man in a full-time position, according to the governor’s office. Proponents of the new law say it will ensure that employees receive salaries based their skills, qualifications, and experience.
“This bill provides a means of narrowing the wage gap by making it less likely for employers to unintentionally perpetuate the gap by basing salary offers for new hires on their previous salary, which has a disproportionate impact on female hires,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D., Monmouth), a sponsor of the law.