On May 2, 2016, Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed Bill S992, New Jersey’s equal pay bill. As discussed in our previous blog post, the bill passed in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on March 14, 2016. For a more detailed discussion of the bill, please see our March 10, 2016 blog post.

In his message for a conditional veto, Governor Christie objected to a number of provisions in the bill, such as:

  • The unlimited back-pay provision – Governor Christie expressed concern that the bill provided “absolutely no limitation on the amount of back pay an employee can recover when claiming wage discrimination.” He recommended that the bill mirror the Lilly Ledbetter Act in this regard, by limiting back pay to two years.
  • The authorization of treble damages award for violations of the wage discrimination and the bill’s disclosure provisions – Governor Christie stated that such a provision is not authorized by State or federal law. Accordingly, he expressed concern that this provision would make New Jersey a “liberal outlier.”
  • The requirement for contractors to provide information on workers’ gender, race, job title, occupational category, and compensation, as well as significant changes during the course of the contract, to the New Jersey Labor Commissioner and Division of Civil Rights – Governor Christie described this requirement as “outrageous bureaucratic red tape creation.”

The bill was returned to the Senate with the Governor’s amendment recommendations.