New Gender Equality Notice Issued for New Jersey Employers

by Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
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The New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development recently issued the official notice poster (the “Notice”) informing employees of their right to be free from gender-based discrimination in pay, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.  The poster is currently available in English and Spanish and may be found at:  http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/EmployerPosterPacket/genderequityposter.pdf

Under the anti-gender discrimination statute passed in September of 2012, New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees (regardless of whether those employees work inside or outside New Jersey) must conspicuously post this Notice in a place or places accessible to all workers, in each of the employer’s New Jersey workplaces.  Employers must post this Notice by January 6, 2014. Employers may satisfy the posting requirement by using an internet or intranet website if the site is for the exclusive use of employees and can be accessed by all employees.

In addition to the conspicuous posting requirement, employers must:

  1. No later than February 5, 2014, provide a copy of the Notice to all New Jersey employees hired on or before January 6, 2014;
  2. At the time of hiring, provide a copy of the Notice to new employees hired in New Jersey after January 6, 2014;
  3. Provide all New Jersey employees a copy of the Notice annually, on or before December 31 of each year; and
  4. Provide each employee in New Jersey with a copy of the Notice upon request of the employee.

Employers may distribute the Notice to employees through e-mail, through printed material (including a pay check insert, brochure or similar informational packet provided to new hires, an attachment to an employee manual or policy book, or flyer distributed at an employee meeting), or through an internet or intranet site, as long as the site is for the exclusive use of employees, can be accessed by all employees, and the employer provides notice to employees of its posting.

The Notice provided by the employer must contain an acknowledgement that the worker has received the Notice and has read and understands its terms. The acknowledgement must be signed by the worker, in writing or by means of electronic verification, and returned to the employer within 30 days of its receipt.  The statute requires that an acknowledgment must be obtained following each distribution of the Notice, not merely once per year.

Covered employers should incorporate the Notice into their new employee processing procedures.  In addition, covered employers should establish new procedures that ensure that the gender equity Notice is posted and distributed to incumbent employees in January and annually thereafter and that employee acknowledgments are retained. 

We also remind New Jersey employers with 10 or more employees of their annual obligation to distribute the notice required by the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA).  A copy of that notice may be found at:  http://lwd.state.nj.us/forms_pdfs/lwdhome/CEPA270.1.pdf

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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