In 2018, New Jersey adopted one of the most far reaching equal pay acts in the United States. As an employee, an employer is not allowed to pay you less than others in a discriminatory way. If you believe that you are being paid less than others at your job who perform the same work as you, you need to contact Ms. Trabosh so that she give you a free consultation and evaluate your case.
What is the Equal Pay Act?
Also known as the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, the law provides that as of July 1, 2018, employers are prohibited from paying employees that do similar work different amounts because they belong to a protected class. Specifically, employers are banned from paying employees differently for the same work because of an employee’s gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other type of identifying characteristic.
However, it is important to note that an employer is not in violation if a pay discrepancy exists due to a merit based system or seniority at work. Differences in pay for bona fide reasons, such as differences in education, training, and quality or quantity of production are also not considered violations of the Equal Pay Act. However, the burden of proof is on the employer to prove that the wage difference was due to a legitimate business reason and not because one employee was part of a protected class.
An employee has six years from the time that they knew or should have known about the pay discrepancy to file a lawsuit against their employer for damages. Known as the statute of limitations, if a case is filed after the six year deadline the court is allowed to throw out the lawsuit and bar the employee from collecting damages. This is why it is critical that you speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as you suspect that you are being paid less than others at your job for the same work.
Compensation for Equal Pay Act Violations
The New Jersey Equal Pay Act provides all of the remedies allowed under the state’s Law Against Discrimination. If found in violation of the state Equal Pay Act, an employer may be liable for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and more. Compensatory damages include all out of pocket expenses that the employee has incurred due to the wage discrepancy. Punitive damages are an additional award that is meant to punish the employer for particularly heinous discrimination and serve as a deterrent to others who may consider violating the Equal Pay Act. An employer found guilty of this violation may also be required to pay the employee double the amount of the withheld wages.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you believe that your employer has violated the Equal Pay Act, you need an experienced employment attorney to evaluate your case. Call or fill out our contact form for a free evaluation of your claims.