New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees will be required to post and distribute a gender equity notice (“Notice”) to employees in New Jersey beginning January 6, 2014.
Although the new posting/distribution requirement is the result of a September 21, 2012 amendment to the New Jersey Equal Pay Act, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“NJDOL”) only recently published the required Notice and announced the effective date of the posting requirement. The Notice informs employees that employers may not discriminate “against an individual with respect to his/her pay, compensation, benefits, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the individual’s sex.” It advises employees of their rights under federal and state laws and provides contact information for state and federal agencies.
Posting the Notice
The notice must be posted on January 6, 2014, in a location that is conspicuous and accessible to employees. Electronic posting is permitted on an internet/intranet site, if the site is for the exclusive use of employees and accessible by all employees in New Jersey locations.
Distributing the Notice
Beginning January 7, 2014, all new hires must be provided a copy of the Notice at the time of hire. By February 5, 2014, employers must distribute the Notice to all current (as of January 6, 2014) employees. The Notice must be redistributed annually and to any employee upon request.
Hard copy or e-mail distribution is acceptable. If the Notice is posted on an internet/intranet site that is for the exclusive use of employees and accessible by all employees in New Jersey locations, an employer may satisfy its distribution obligation by providing notice to employees that the Notice is posted.
Regardless of the method of distribution, the Notice must be accompanied by an acknowledgment that the employee has received and read the Notice and understands its terms. This acknowledgment must be signed by the employee, either in writing or electronically, and returned to the employer within 30 days of its receipt. An employee’s acknowledgement should be maintained by the employer. If an employee does not return the acknowledgement, human resources or management should follow up in writing and retain a copy of the reminder.
In light of the approaching deadline, employers should post the Notice at the start of the new year and be prepared to distribute copies to new hires beginning January 7. They should also prepare to distribute the Notice and obtain employees’ acknowledgements.