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New Jersey lawmakers pass 2 bills to protect fair wages

New Jersey lawmakers passed a package of bills on Feb. 14 aimed at making sure the state's middle- and working- class residents' rights to fair wages are protected.

Among the bills that were approved by the Assembly Labor Committee that day was A-1094. It aims to minimize wage gaps between the genders by making it illegal for any employer to require an applicant to disclose their wage history simply to apply for a job. It would make it illegal for them to ask a prospective worker to disclose their minimum salary in order to be considered for a role as well.

The new legislation does, however, allow an employer to use a prospective employee's salary history in deciding how much to pay an employee or how much in benefits to extend to them. This information would only be accessible to them if an employee voluntarily disclosed it to their employer, though. They're not required to do so.

A second bill passed that day was A-3413. All employers in New Jersey will be required to provide employees with a statement of earnings that essentially captures how they calculate a worker's wages. The sponsors of this bill note that this increased transparency will reduce the chances of employers making both intentional and accidental calculation errors.

Up until this legislation was proposed, New Jersey employers were simply required to give employees a statement with all their deductions during a pay period. The number of hours that they worked, their hourly pay rate and their gross and net income didn't have to be documented on it.

When you realize that your Burlington employer may have shorted you what you're owed, you may find yourself in disbelief. You may wonder if they intentionally did so or if it was an accident. Confronting them about unpaid wage and overtime claims can put you in a difficult position. You're not alone. An attorney can address the matter with your employer on your behalf, so you don't have to.

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