On September 21, 2012, New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie signed into law new legislation that requires New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees to post and provide notice to employees of their right to be free from gender-based discrimination in pay, compensation, benefits, or terms and conditions of employment.
The new law requires employers to post in a conspicuous place in the work area the anti-gender discrimination notice that will be issued by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. In addition to the posting requirement, the law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide workers with a copy of the notice at specific times, including: (1) not later than 30 days after the notice is issued by the Commissioner, (2) at the time of a worker’s hiring, (3) each year to all employees by December 31, and (4) at any time in response to a request from an employee.
Employers may distribute the notice by e-mail, printed material (including employee handbooks), or through an internet or intranet site if the site is for the exclusive use of the employees, can be accessed by all employees, and the employer provides notice of its posting. The notice must also contain an acknowledgment form indicating that the employee has read and understands the terms of the notice. The acknowledgement must be either signed or electronically verified by the employee within 30 days of receiving it.
The law requires employers to post the notice in English, Spanish, and any other language for which the notice is issued by the Commissioner, and that the employer believes is the first language of a significant portion of the workforce.
The law goes into effect on November 19, 2012, but no action is required by employers until the Commissioner issues the form of notice.
This legislation adds another administrative burden on New Jersey employers who are already required to provide notices about recordkeeping requirements under wage and benefit laws, family leave insurance, and whistleblowing. Employers should be sure that they understand all of the obligations of this new law, including the annual distribution and employee acknowledgment requirements and that they remain alert for the notice that will be forthcoming from the Commissioner of Labor.