On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed a bill into law that would ban salary secrecy for employees who are trying to uncover wage discrimination. It will make it illegal for an employer to retaliate if a worker discloses job information such as title, compensation, or other components if it was made to investigate whether someone is being paid unfairly.
New Jersey’s law mirrors the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been introduced in Congress and would, among other things, ban retaliation against those who share salary information. Nearly half of all workers are either forbidden or strongly discouraged from sharing that information with each other, making it extremely difficult for women and other groups to root out discrimination.
On average, women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, a gap that can’t be explained by how much education a woman earns, what job she takes, the personal choices she makes, or how high she rises in a company.
And even though the first bill President Obama signed into law dealt with the gender wage gap, there’s still much progress to be made. The gap has actually widened recently. A third of women report experiencing discrimination at work, while 13 percent say they were denied a raise because of their gender.