On Monday of this week, the New Jersey Legislature gave overwhelming final approval to a gender pay equity bill that will be one of the strongest in the nation. Governor Phil Murphy (D) is expected to sign the measure, NJ A1/S104. The act will prohibit unequal pay for ‘substantially similar work’ and provides that employees who have been discriminated against in their pay levels would be eligible to receive up to as much as 6 years of back pay! Also up in the Northeast, the Massachusetts Attorney General released a guidance on amendments to the Massachusetts Pay Equity Law, which will take effect on July 1 of this year. The amendments, which were actually passed back in 2016, prohibit employers from seeking information about a prospective employee’s salary history until after a job offer with compensation is extended. The new provisions also seek to make it easier to identify gender-based pay discrepancies and advance pay equity by providing additional clarity to what is “comparable work”. You can read the Attorney General guidance here. It was a different story down in the bayou, as the Louisiana senate rejected a couple of pay equity proposals, one of which sought to prohibit pay disparities within companies that contract with the state (an existing Equal Pay Law applies to state workers), while another would have protected employee from being fired for discussing pay issues. Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards (D) campaigned on passing both bills.