AARP believes that no one’s possibilities should ever be limited by their age and seeks to find new solutions so that more people can live and age as they choose. In just the past four months, with the support of AARP members, advocacy volunteers and coalition partners we have achieved noteworthy success on behalf of our 1.3 million Garden State members. AARP members and volunteers have made thousands of calls, sent almost 6,000 emails, conducted numerous legislative visits with our elected representatives and organized two lobby days at the New Jersey State Capitol. Your actions demonstrate the power of AARP are the secret sauce to achieving positive change in the lives of not only the 50 plus, but for all New Jerseyans.
AARP worked in collaboration with coalition partners across the state to pass the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (A1/ S104). This bill was signed into law on April 24th, 2018 and will go into effect on July 1st 2018. It was previously estimated that a woman who works full time over 40 years loses over $435, 480 in lifetime income due to the wage gap. Further, according to the American Association of University Women by the time workers reach 55-64 years old, women are paid only 74% of what men are paid. The law will expand the previously established prohibition against paying women less who are in identical jobs as men, to include jobs that are similar or comparable and allows employees the right to tell each other what they earn without fear of retribution from employers. The law also allows employees the right to tell each other what they earn without fear of retribution from employers.
AARP NJ also supported legislation establishing Earned Sick Leave for New Jersey workers. The new law (A1827/S2171) ensures working caregivers do not have to risk losing a paycheck or even their job in order to provide care for their loved ones. This law requires employers to provide earned sick leave to their employees to care for themselves, or a family member including individuals who are the equivalent of family. Employees will accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year. The bill was signed into law on May 2nd and will go into effect in October 2018. This law will provide common sense workplace flexibility for the 1.1 million family caregivers in New Jersey, a majority of whom work either full or part time. This workplace flexibility is a great step forward in allowing caregivers to continue to help keep their loved ones at home, where they want to be, and out of more costly taxpayer funded institutions.
With an excellent start to 2018 we plan to keep the momentum going and continue to inform NJ elected officials about what is important to the 50+ in New Jersey. On Monday June 25th, 2018 AARP NJ will be hosting at Day at the Capitol Event. Invited speakers include Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Join us to show your state-elected representatives the importance of issues impacting people 50-plus including financial security, family caregiving, fraud prevention and access to quality and affordable healthcare. To learn more about this event and to register please visit https://aarp.cvent.com/DayattheCapital2018. Registration is required for this event and seats are limited.