New Jersey employers will soon be required to post and distribute to employees a gender equity notice that was recently made available by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL). This requirement implements an anti-gender discrimination statute that Governor Chris Christie signed into law in September 2012. The statute informs employees of their right to be free from gender-based discrimination in pay, compensation, benefits, or terms and conditions of employment.
Beginning on January 6, 2014, New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees (regardless of whether those employees work inside or outside New Jersey) will be required to:
1. post a copy of the gender equity notice in a conspicuous place in the workplace accessible by all employees or on the employer’s intranet site, so long as the site is for the exclusive use of employees and all employees have access to it;
2. distribute a copy of the notice to all current employees by February 5, 2014;
3. provide a copy of the notice at the time of hiring to all new employees hired
after January 6, 2014;
4. provide a copy of the notice to all employees annually by December 31 of each year; and
5. provide each employee with a copy of the notice upon request of the employee.
Employers may distribute the notice to employees through e-mail, printed material, or an Internet or intranet site, so long as the site is for the exclusive use of employees, the site can be accessed by all employees and the employer notifies employees that the notice is available online. The DOL requires employers to obtain a signed acknowledgment or electronic verification from each employee confirming their receipt of the gender equity notice. A copy of the gender equity notice can be found here.
The statute requires employers to post the notice in "English, Spanish, and any other language for which the commissioner has made the notification available and which the employer reasonably believes is the first language of a significant number of the employer’s workforce." However, at this time, the notice is available only in English. Employers should modify their policies and procedures now to ensure that the notice is posted and distributed timely in January and annually thereafter.