Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Retaliation
Realizing that you are being paid less than your colleagues even though you perform substantially similar work is not just hurtful. It can be demoralizing, embarrassing, and devastating. Being retaliated against for attempting to confirm the existence of unequal pay practices or seeking help from a lawyer or the government to fix an employer’s unequal pay can be soul crushing and constitutes unlawful retaliation under the recently enacted Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act. New Jersey’s equal pay retaliation lawyers at Lenzo & Reis fight not just for equal pay for workers but we also fight against the retaliation suffered by workers who complain about unequal pay practices. The attorneys at Lenzo & Reis have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for employees in unequal pay claims and equal pay retaliation claims, and we will help you, too.What Is the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act?
The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, which is an amendment to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD), was signed into law on April 24, 2018. The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay employees protected from unlawful discrimination because of a protected characteristic under the Law Against Discrimination the same as nonmembers of protected classes for “substantially similar work” unless the pay differential is justified by a legitimate business necessity. In addition to being one of the nation’s toughest equal pay laws, it also contains some of the toughest anti-retaliation prohibitions in the country.Did the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act Change the Anti-Retaliation Provisions of the Law Against Discrimination?
Yes. N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(d), which is generally referred as the anti-retaliation/anti-reprisal provision of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, originally only prohibited employers from retaliating against employees who opposed any practices or acts forbidden under the LAD or filed complaints, testified or assisted in proceedings or aided or encouraged anyone else in exercising any right protected by the LAD. The amendment to the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act amendment changed that provision to make clear that employers engage in illegal retaliation if they take adverse actions against employees who seek legal advice about equal pay claims, share relevant information with their attorneys about such claims or potential claims, or share information with governmental agencies about unequal pay.
The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act also amended the anti-retaliation provisions of N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(r). Whereas that section previously prohibited employers from retaliating against employees who requested information about job titles, occupational categories and rates of pay and/or benefits from any other current or former employees, it was amended to make clear that employers engage in unlawful retaliation if they retaliate against employees who request, discuss, or disclose such information to a lawyer from whom they seek legal advice or any governmental agency.What Type of Compensation Can I Be Awarded If I Am Retaliated Against for Requesting Job or Pay Information From Other Employees or Sharing That Information With a Lawyer or Governmental Agency?
The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act requires judges to treble (or triple) any money awarded to a plaintiff if a jury determines that an employee was retaliated against for attempting to obtain certain job or wage information or disclosing that information to an attorney or government agency.What Should I Do If I Am Being Retaliated Against Because I Sought Information About Job Categories and/or Pay or Disclosed That Information to an Attorney or Governmental Agency?
Every New Jersey worker has the right to both receive equal pay for equal work and be free from retaliation for seeking and/or disclosing information about job categories and/or pay to an attorney or government agency. Employers who retaliate against employees for getting or sharing information that they have the legal right to obtain or share are violating the law by engaging in illegal retaliation. If you are unlawfully terminated because actions you took regarding a claim of unequal pay, you should immediately call New Jersey’s equal pay attorneys at Lenzo & Reis. We have represented countless New Jersey employees in claims of retaliation, including retaliation related to equal pay claims.