On January 16, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy’s first official act as Governor was to sign Executive Order No. 1, promoting equal pay for women. The Order bars managers in state government from asking job applicants about their salary history, because “asking job applicants about their salary histories inappropriately perpetuates the wage gap by allowing prospective employers to offer lower salaries to women than they otherwise would . . .”
The Order states that “studies have demonstrated that women in New Jersey who hold full-time, year-round jobs are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men holding full-time, year-round jobs,” that this pay gap “has been demonstrated to exist across all industries and among workers with all levels of education,” and that the gap is even larger for Black and Latina women.
Governor Murphy said that he “would make it state law” if the New Jersey legislature sent a bill to his desk that extended these provisions to private employers. State lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Assembly Speaker Craig Couglin (D-Middlesex), and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) joined Murphy for the signing to support equal pay in New Jersey.
“The reality is it is something that women face each and every day,” said Coughlin. “It’s painfully unfair and it’s something that we have to change. When you ask for someone’s salary you perpetuate the problem.”