Measures Would Help Ensure Equal Pay; Fight Unfair Pay Discrimination
(TRENTON) — Assembly Women and Children Committee Chair Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden) issued a multimedia package Thursday, in which she discusses her legislation to help bridge the gender-based pay equity gap and reduce pay discrimination in the workplace.
According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, women still earn roughly 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, with the gender income gap highest in higher paying occupations and most severe for minority women.
Lampitt’s first bill (A-4044), the “Wage Transparency Act,” would require any employer who contracts with the state to provide qualifying services that are not subject to prevailing wage requirements to give the Department of Labor and Workforce Development information regarding the gender, race, job title, occupational category and total compensation of every employee that they employ in New Jersey in connection with the contracts. Employers who perform public work subject to prevailing wage requirements would be required to include the gender and race information, in addition to the job title, occupational category and rate of total compensation information in the certified payroll recorders required under the state’s prevailing wage act.
The second measure (A-4124), the “Unfair Wage Recovery Act,” would help employees fight pay discrimination by essentially restarting the applicable statute of limitations governing discriminatory compensation claims under New Jersey’s “Law Against Discrimination.” This change would effectively make each paycheck another instance of the discriminatory compensation decision and thus continue the violation. This change mirrors language in the federal “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.”
The multimedia package consists of a video of Lampitt discussing her legislation and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from Assemblywoman Lampitt is appended below:
Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden), Assembly Women and Children Committee Chair:
“There are over 15 million households right now that are being led by single women. Thirty-one percent of them are at the poverty level.
“The ‘Wage Transparency Act’ is the ability for us to ensure that if there are private sector companies that are receiving public dollars, that they too should be able to provide information about equal pay. We need to ensure that we’re holding them accountable as well. And we want to ensure the fact that equitable pay is happening across all sectors.
“Another piece of legislation that we’re working on here; we should allow the ability for one’s disparity of pay to be heard about the length of time that it actually actual occurs. This allows the judge or the juries to actually hear the conflicts that are occurring and to make some appropriate summation about the financial rewards that should be placed upon individuals who have seen this type of disparity.
“When you look at if we were to equate the dollars that were appropriate, it’s over $11,000 a year. What does $11,000 mean to a single mother? Well, that means buying diapers; that means buying milk; and that means buying food; and that means being able to afford to be able to live and care for their families.”