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Monday, July 19, 2021

NJ Employment Age Discrimination Attorney- I Have Seniority but My Employer Pays Me Less Money

When a long-term employee learns that other employees who are doing the same job and who and have worked less years for the employer, are earning more money than she/he, it can be shocking and hurtful. Particularly when the employee has logged in many years of loyal service. It appears counter-intuitive but “seniority” as to employees’ legal rights is illusory in many employment contexts including as to pay grades. The exceptions are when an employee is deemed to have certain seniority rights because they are covered by a bone fide merit system, Civil Service Commission rules, or in some instances by terms of a collective bargaining agreement or other contract. The majority of government employees in state and local government are covered by New Jersey’s Civil Service System.

You May Have a Discrimination Claim under the Amended LAD, Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act

Many at-will, long-term non-public employees without contracts, etc., consider themselves to have some sort of seniority and want to know if they are entitled to earn the same as persons who do the same job but have a shorter work history with that particular employer. Long-term employees are frequently the older employees. If you are an older worker in New Jersey and if younger employees who are doing the same job as you are paid more, you may have a discrimination claim under the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act.

Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act makes it illegal for an employer to pay members of a protected class under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination less than persons who are not members of that protected class for doing substantially similar work. This pertains to all protected classes: sex, race, etc., not just age.

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) § 10:5-12, Section (a) lists the following protected classes: race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, or because of the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or the nationality of any individual, or because of the refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test to an employer.

Equal Pay for Substantially Similar Work

While the LAD always mandated that it was illegal to discriminate against an individual in a protected class in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, the Diane B. Equal Pay Act added a new subsection, N.J.S.A § 10:5-12(t). Subsection (t) prohibits an employer from paying any employee who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.” N.J.S.A § 10:5-12(t).

Don’t sit on your rights!

If you believe your employer is discriminating against you because you are a member of a protected class such as age, sex, race, disability etc., you should contact this office immediately. I am successful in filing lawsuits on behalf of workers who were discriminated against at work and in recovering money to compensate them.

If you think your employer is violating the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act or is discriminating against you, you should call this office today. I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were subjected to discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace and/or were fired. If you have experienced discrimination at work, or if you reported it and no action was taken, if you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in employment discrimination.

If you are being subjected to workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.

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