Both equal pay and wage theft are hot topics in the new legislative session, and top priorities of Gov. Murphy’s administration. We are pleased to see initial efforts being framed in a thoughtful way that advances core objectives without generating unnecessary litigation.


Just three hours after being sworn into office, Gov. Murphy signed an executive order prohibiting the state from inquiring into the salary histories of prospective employees and expressly precluding a new cause of action. Murphy said the move would ensure that state employees receive salaries that are commensurate with their skills, qualifications, and experience, and is a “first meaningful step towards gender equity and fighting the gender pay gap.”


On the legislative side of things, consider the wage theft bill up for a vote in the Senate Labor Committee on Monday. S392, which is being sponsored by Sen. Madden (D- Turnersville), significantly increases the penalties for violating the state’s wage and hour laws but does not create new opportunities for unnecessary litigation.


Both of these actions appear to indicate an interest in addressing the concerns raised by employee advocates in a measured and reasonable way.


As NJCJI has repeatedly pointed out to policy makers, they can accomplish their policy goals without creating new ways and reasons to sue businesses. We are grateful that our concerns are being addressed, and look forward to continuing our work with legislators and members of the executive branch who want to make laws that are effective and efficient.