⚫ More than one proposal aims to mandate wage/salary info with job listings

⚫ A number of states have pay transparency laws in place

⚫ Business groups want lawmakers to proceed with caution

As some legislators aim to make New Jersey the next state to mandate pay or salary ranges with job postings, business advocacy groups say New Jersey may benefit from not pulling the trigger just yet.

Proposed laws in the Assembly and Senate would force employers to include the hourly wage or salary of an open position, or at least a range of compensation, with each job listing, along with a description of all the benefits that come with the position.

"It takes a lot of wasted time out of this equation," said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester, whose legislation was up for discussion in late March in the Assembly Labor Committee.

An identical bill exists in the Senate.

Moriarty said his measure would put New Jersey in line with New York and Connecticut, which have pay transparency laws. Right now, he said, wannabe workers may exclude the Garden State from their job search because the potential pay is a guessing game.

"It gives the person that is looking for employment at least an understanding of what the floor would be, and potentially what the ceiling would be," Moriarty said.

Implementation of pay transparency has had varying levels of success in other states, according to Alexis Bailey, vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. Plus, there are plenty of companies posting salary information already.

"I would say maybe we can take a little bit of a wait-and-see approach," Bailey told lawmakers.

And compensation ranges may not be viewed by prospective workers as reasonable, critics of the bill suggest. Businesses may just post extreme ranges to satisfy the requirement.

"Having a broad salary range may be misleading to those candidates," said Hilary Chebra, manager of government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey.

Moriarty told groups that he's willing to rework his bill, including possibly removing the language that permits individuals to institute a cause of action for damages incurred from a violation of the bill.

"This could really open up employers to a lot of litigation," Bailey said.

Under the bill, violators could face a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offenses, and $10,000 for subsequent offenses.

Moriarty's measure applies to companies with five or more employees, and also pushes employers to make every worker aware of promotion opportunities within the company.

A similar bill from Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, D-East Orange, applies to private employers with 10 or more workers, and does not include a private right of action or the posting of promotion opportunities.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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