To the General Assembly:

     Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I am returning the Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bill Nos. 3480 and 4119 without my approval.

     This bill would prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees, without exception, and it would do so by amending New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”).  NJLAD is a law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals on the basis of any of the law’s specified protected categories, including sex.  These prohibitions extend to housing, public accommodations, business contracts, and, most relevant here, employment.

     Discrimination has absolutely no place in our modern workforce or in our State.  I have been committed to ensuring equal treatment and, throughout my Administration, I have signed a number of bills that strengthen the ability of employees to protect themselves and enforce their right to be free from unlawful discrimination.  It is also why, last year, I made a number of recommendations to amend the NJLAD that would advance the sponsors’ goals by providing additional protections to individuals who are the subject of wage discrimination.  If the Legislature returns those recommendations or a similar bill, I will consider the same with an eye toward our shared goal of ending discrimination. 

     While I share the sponsors’ concern with wage discrimination, this bill encompasses much more than discriminatory conduct.  In fact, this bill’s language would punish, as discriminatory, otherwise innocuous conduct done with neither discriminatory intent nor a discriminatory impact.  I will continue to support the Legislature in its attempts to end wage discrimination, but I cannot sign a bill that fails to align with not only the purpose but also the other provisions of the law it seeks to amend.

Accordingly, I herewith return the Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bill Nos. 3480 and 4119 without my approval.



     [seal]                       /s/ Chris Christie







/s/ James J. DiGiulio


Chief Counsel to the Governor