Says NJ Legislature Stepping Up Where Conservatives are Attacking Women’s Rights
TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, issued the following statement today after the Senate Labor Committee approved a package of bills she sponsored to advance pay equity in the Garden State:
“Taken as a whole, the bills approved in Committee today create an environment in which men and women are more likely to be paid an equal wage for an equal day’s work. The bills expand wage transparency, educate employees of their right to equitable treatment, and ensure that valid claims of pay discrimination aren’t tossed out as a result of a technicality.
“At a time when conservatives are attacking the hard-fought rights of women – whether it’s the right to choose, or to access health care, or to be protected from domestic violence, or to receive equitable pay – the Democratic members of New Jersey’s Legislature are stepping up and taking a stand against the War on Women. I applaud my Democratic colleagues in the Legislature who’ve rejected gender warfare and are doing the right thing for working women in New Jersey.”
The bills that were approved by the Labor Committee today are:
• S-1930, sponsored by Senators Weinberg and Linda Greenstein, which would require employers to post notice of worker rights – particularly the right to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay – in the workplace, and to provide written or electronic notification to workers of their rights under the New Jersey “Law Against Discrimination,” Title VII of the federal “Civil Rights Act of 1964” and the “Equal Pay Act of 1963.” The bill was approved by a vote of 3-1 with one abstention;
• S-1932, sponsored by Senators Weinberg and Greenstein, which would require public contractors to report the gender, race, job title, occupational category and rate of compensation of every person employed in New Jersey in association with a public contract to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The bill was approved by a vote of 3-1, with one abstention;
• S-1933, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Weinberg, which would apply provisions of the federal “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009” – namely, the ability to “restart” the statute of limitations every time an employee receives a paycheck that violates discriminatory pay practices – to the State “Law Against Discrimination.” The sponsors noted that the goal of the legislation is to ensure that people who’ve been subject to pay discrimination for an extended period of time wouldn’t have their claims thrown out in court on a technicality. The bill was approved by a vote of 3-1 with one abstention;
• S-1935, sponsored by Senators Weinberg and Greenstein, which would prohibit employers from retaliating against any employee who discusses information regarding job title, occupational category and rate of compensation with a fellow or former employee. The intent, according to the bill sponsors, is to create a more open environment in which pay disparity based on gender discrimination is uncovered and dealt with appropriately. The bill was approved by a vote of 3-1 with one abstention;
• SR-50, sponsored by Senate President Sweeney, Senator Weinberg, and Senator Barbara Buono, which urges Congress to pass the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” in order to combat the persistent income gap attributable to systemic gender discrimination nationwide. The resolution was approved by a vote of 4-0 with one abstention.
All five bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.