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N.J. Gov Signs ‘Nation’s Strongest’ Equal-Pay Law

TRENTON, N.J.—New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed equal-pay legislation Apr. 24 that one state senator called “the strongest pay equity bill in the nation.” The new law makes it illegal to offer lower pay and benefits to them, and employers will have to show that someone being paid more for the same job deserves it because of their qualifications. It also extends the period for which women can seek back pay to six years, three times as long as the two-year federal limit, and bars employers from equalizing paychecks by cutting higher-paid workers’ salaries. “This bill being signed today will mean so much more than a signature on a piece of paper,” Lilly Ledbetter, the Alabama woman whose discovery that she’d been paid almost 40% less than men helped spark the federal law, told the about 200 people at the signing. Former Gov. Chris Christie had vetoed similar bills several times, but this year’s version passed in the Senate by a 35-0 vote and in the Assembly by 74-2 in March. “There are so many people who worked such a long time to see this bill signed,” Murphy said.
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