Bill to bar employers from asking about salary history OK'd

MarketsAssociated Press

New Jersey lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would bar employers from asking about salary history, a move supporters say is intended to close the wage gap between men and women.

After passing the Democrat-controlled state Senate, the measure advanced to Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who will decide whether it becomes law.

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Proponents said the measure could help ensure that bosses make salary decisions based on an applicant's merits, not what a person earned in an earlier job.

"This provides a means of narrowing the wage gap by making it less likely for employers to unintentionally perpetuate the gap by basing salary offers for new hires on their previous salary, which has a disproportionate impact on female hires," Assemblywoman Joann Downey, a Monmouth Democrat, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the governor's office said they do not comment on pending legislation, when asked if Christie intended to sign the bill into law.

Officials said full-time female workers made 80 cents for every dollar a man made in 2015.

"There is no question that women should be fairly compensated," said Assemblyman Dan Benson, a Democrat who represents Mercer and Middlesex. "This can help us get closer to bridging the gap."