ORANGE – Gubernatorial candidate and state Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) today marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act with a call to end wage discrimination in New Jersey.
Women earn just 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts, an injustice Buono says Gov. Chris Christie could have addressed but didn’t when he vetoed legislation on his desk last year.
“We have a gender wage gap,” declared Buono, panning Christie’s decision to veto three of four bills passed by the legislature designed to outlaw pay discrimination against women in the workplace.
“Senseless bureaucracy,” was Christie’s assessment.
State Senator Nia Gill (D-34) and NOW NJ President Maretta Jackson Short backed up Buono at a local boutique.
“It’s wonderful to be here with NOW and our next governor,” who is on the same slate with Buono in the 34th District Senate Primary.
In 2012, Christie vetoed three bills aimed at alleviating gender-based wage discrimination in New Jersey:
- AB 2648: A bill that prohibited an employer from retaliating against any employee that discussed their job title, rate of compensation and other information. The bill passed the Assembly 49-28-1 and passed the Senate 22-12.
- AB 2649: The bill passed 46-31 in the Assembly and 22-14 in the Senate. The bill required any employer who contracted with the state to report information regarding demographic and compensation information for employees related to the state contract. The information would then be made available to employees.
- AB 2650: This bill mirrored the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 by clarifying that unlawful discriminatory compensation occurred each time wages, benefits or other compensation were paid to an individual and codified this in the state’s Law Against Discrimination. This bill passed the Assembly 29-26-4 and passed the Senate, 23-12.