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Buono Resolution Urging Congress To Advance ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ Passes Committee

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono welcomed committee approval of her resolution, SR-50, that calls on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“The fact that we are still fighting for equal pay for women almost fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act boggles the mind,” said Buono, D-Middlesex. “However, the fact of the matter is that in New Jersey, women only make 85% of what men earn. The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a critical means by which women can gather the evidence sufficient to bring a claim for paycheck discrimination.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2012 would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to make it easier for employees to pursue a claim for gender-based pay discrimination. Under the proposed bill employees would be allowed to disclose salary information with co-workers despite workplace rules prohibiting disclosure. Additionally, employers would be required to show that all wage discrepancies are based on genuine business requirements and the specific characteristics of the job rather than on gender. The bill also prohibits employer retaliation by companies against those who raise wage-parity issues.

“As Lilly Ledbetter said this past week, the Paycheck Fairness Act is the hammer to the nail that was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” said Buono, D-Middlesex. “With the ever increasing number of families dependent on the salaries earned by women, Congress needs to do what’s right and provide women with all of the tools needed to rid our country of gender inequity.”

SR-50 is co-sponsored by Senate President Sweeney and Senator Weinberg. The resolution was approved by a vote of 4-0 with one abstention.