Congress considered the Paycheck Fairness Act for the eighth time in 2015. New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne Jr., together with Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, reintroduced the legislation in an effort to ensure gender equality in the workplace. The Paycheck Fairness Act has been defeated seven times previously by legislators who claim that the Equal Pay Act already guarantees that women performing the same work as men will receive the same pay.
However, the Paycheck Fairness Act goes even further than the Equal Pay Act in several notable respects, according to South Jersey employment lawyers. Under the Paycheck Fairness Act, employers cannot take steps to keep salaries secret from inquiring employees. Moreover, employees seeking information under the Paycheck Fairness Act cannot be retaliated against by their employer. The proposed statute also requires employers to prove that a disparity in pay is related to performance and not gender.
Statistics by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) show that Payne is correct to be concerned about the gender wage gap in New Jersey. Women in the state have median earnings of $48,640, compared to $60,815 in median earnings for men, the AAUW contends. Additionally, women of color are at an even greater disadvantage. The National Women’s Law Center reported in October 2014 that African-American women in New Jersey earn 58.4-cents for every dollar earned by a male coworker performing the same job.
The Paycheck Fairness Act as proposed by Payne and DeLauro was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, where it remains today. In New Jersey in 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed into law a measure which offers protection against retaliation for workers who reveal gender discrimination in the workplace. The law was initially vetoed by the Governor, but later signed after legislators incorporated the rule into the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
South Jersey Wage and Hour Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Pursue Gender Discrimination Claims Against Employers
If you suspect that you have been a victim of the gender wage gap, contact our South Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates. We have the experience you need when launching an employment discrimination action. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation in our Philadelphia offices, where we serve clients throughout Southeast Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey and New York.