Egg Harbor Township Equal Pay Lawyers

Egg Harbor Township Equal Pay Lawyers

In Egg Harbor Township, as in jurisdictions governed by both New Jersey state law and federal statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is explicitly illegal to engage in pay discrimination based on gender. Despite these legal protections, wage disparities persist within the United States, particularly affecting women.

Research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2015 revealed that women earned only 83% of what men made for comparable work hours. This figure marks an improvement from 1980 when women earned a mere 67% of men’s wages. However, data from the United States Census Bureau presents a more significant gap, indicating that women earn only 80% of men’s wages when considering full-time, year-round employment.

Women and Promotion

While the pay gap is slightly narrower for women aged 25 to 34, they still earn only 90% of what their male counterparts make. This ongoing disparity suggests that both younger and older women face significant obstacles in achieving pay equity. Furthermore, despite women’s dominance in fields such as childcare, they still earn approximately 95% of what men are paid for equivalent roles. On average, women must work an additional 44 days per year to match men’s annual earnings.

Concerning promotions, women often encounter lengthier paths to career advancement, thereby impacting their salary progression. For instance, in the education sector, female school principals typically accrue three more years of teaching experience than their male counterparts before being promoted. This disparity partly stems from women more frequently taking career breaks or reducing work hours for family care and childbirth. Notably, around one in four women report taking extended breaks or reducing their work commitments due to family responsibilities or childbirth. These factors significantly influence the professional trajectories and earning potentials of women in Egg Harbor Township and beyond.

The Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 plays a crucial role in ensuring wage parity in Egg Harbor Township and throughout New Jersey. This legislation stipulates that jobs, irrespective of their titles, must involve substantially similar duties to warrant equal pay, thereby emphasizing task similarity over job titles. Importantly, the Act empowers employees to directly approach federal or state courts with their grievances, eliminating the need to first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Moreover, the Act prohibits rectifying pay disparities by reducing the wages of the higher-paid employee.

Historically, justifications for unequal pay included higher turnover rates among working women due to family commitments, legal restrictions on women’s working hours and conditions, and societal biases prevalent in the 1950s, when the norm was a household with a stay-at-home wife and a working husband. Women’s earnings were often considered non-essential for household survival.

Under the Equal Pay Act, wage discrepancies are permissible based on merit, seniority, production quality or quantity, or factors unrelated to gender. Plaintiffs in Equal Pay Act cases bear the onus of demonstrating that women were paid less than their male counterparts for substantially equal work. Notably, until the Educational Amendments of 1972, certain professional fields were exempt from the Equal Pay Act, tied to exclusions within the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, the Reorganization Act of 1977 transferred the enforcement of the Equal Pay Act to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1979, where it remains enforced today. Understanding this historical context and legal framework is vital for addressing pay discrimination in Egg Harbor Township and beyond.

New Jersey and the New Equal Pay Act

The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act represents a significant stride in combatting employment discrimination and pay disparity in New Jersey. Integrated into the Law Against Discrimination, this law was passed by the New Jersey Legislature on March 27, 2018, and became effective on July 1, 2018. It aims to rectify the substantial wage gap where, as of 2015, women in the U.S. earned only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, with pay parity projected to be achieved only by 2059, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

This Act imposes stringent measures against pay disparity, making it unlawful for employers to pay members of any protected class less than non-members for substantially similar work. Nevertheless, it permits legitimate pay differences arising from merit-based systems or seniority.

Furthermore, the Act stipulates that any biased pay practice constitutes an illegal employment act each time it occurs, and affected workers can claim compensation for up to six years. In cases where an employer is found guilty of violating the Act’s pay practices, the court may impose treble damages. These are also applicable in instances of employer retaliation against employees for discussing, inquiring, or disclosing information regarding compensation with peers, legal advisors, or government agencies. Additionally, treble damages apply if an employer attempts to enforce a waiver preventing employees from discussing or disclosing pay rates and practices.

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Equal Pay Attorneys

This groundbreaking law, championed by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt among others, positions New Jersey at the forefront of ensuring comprehensive protection against pay discrimination, furthering the state’s commitment to workplace equality and justice.

Castronovo & McKinney, LLC helps clients with their equal pay claims throughout New Jersey including Egg Harbor Township.