NJCPA CEO & Executive Director Ralph Albert Thomas’ Statement on Assembly Bill 4263
March 15, 2017
The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) has long supported gender parity in the workplace and is an advocate of equal pay across the state. Correcting wage and gender differentials has been, and continues to be, a priority for this organization.
However, we are opposed to A4263, which is up for a vote by the New Jersey Assembly on March 16. This legislation requires New Jersey companies doing business with the state to disclose all of their company’s wage and gender information to the Department of Treasury, which will publish the information annually on its website. The information will also be given to attorneys who request it under the NJ Open Public Records Act.
This requirement does not allow for companies to specify various work qualifications, exceptions or allowances. And it will do little to nothing to ensure wage parity. Instead, it provides a database that could be used by attorneys solely to generate frivolous wage discrimination litigation. The burden shifts to the employer to prove its pay practices, which could lead to countless hours of litigation or monetary settlements. It will be unfairly used by trial lawyers as a club to force companies to pay settlements or face the prospect of costly litigation, regardless of the merits of the case.
Furthermore, the bill invades privacy rights. We don’t think CPA firms, their clients and the business community at large should be forced to publicly disclose what they pay their employees. For these reasons, the NJCPA opposes the bill and asks you to contact your legislators to urge them to vote no. You can contact them easily by calling via this link and emailing through this link.