Employers will soon be banned from asking about your salary history in job interviews

Posted Jul 25, 2019

You know that awkward moment: You’re filling out an application for employment and there’s a space left blank for your salary history. Or you’ve just crushed a job interview and your prospective employer asks, “How much are you making now?”

Say too much and you may never get past the initial screening. Say too little and you could be boxed into a lower wage.

No more.

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Southwest is ditching Newark airport. Will other flights cost more?

Updated Jul 25, 2019

If you’re flying in and out New Jersey’s biggest airport, it won’t be on Southwest anymore.

But that doesn’t mean big changes are coming to Newark Liberty.

The Dallas-based airline announced Thursday it will consolidate its New York City-area operations at LaGuardia Airport as of Nov. 3. While losing an airline can stoke fears of price increases, there are too many factors at play know how the loss will affect your wallet.

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Biden hits back at Booker, with aide calling Newark PD a ‘civil rights nightmare’

Updated Jul 24, 2019

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden raised the heat in an ongoing clash with fellow Democratic presidential contender Cory Booker, criticizing his stewardship of the Newark Police Department that a top aide called a “civil rights nightmare."

Biden responded Wednesday after the senator called the former vice president “an architect of mass incarceration.” It was the second day that Booker dismissed Biden’s criminal justice proposals as being insufficient and continued a weeks-long series of attacks against the early frontrunner in opinion polls.

“His police department was stopping and frisking people, mostly African American men,” Biden told reporters about Booker. “We took action against them, the Justice Department took action against them, held the police department accountable.”

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We must protect against workers losing the money they’re owed, assemblywoman says

Posted Jul 24, 2019

By Annette Quijano

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano says the wage theft bill she sponsored will help level the playing field for low-income workers and protect workers’ rights to fair and full legal wages.

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No one should be withheld one penny of the wages to which they are legally entitled. Every individual employed in New Jersey deserves the legal wages their employer has agreed to pay them, including overtime. In order for New Jersey to prosper in the ways we know are possible, we must put our workers first, and make sure they know we have their backs.

Wage theft is a practice that often affects some of the lowest paid and most vulnerable workers. It can take many forms from underpaying wages, penalty rates, as well as misapplying overtime rates and commissions. It can also affect entitlements such as sick leave, requiring workers to repay money earned, and include unauthorized deductions from employee pay. However, and whenever it occurs, it takes money out of the pockets of our hardest working residents who often have more than one job to make ends meet.

The U.S. Department of Labor says the average wage theft amounts, andit is theft, to $1,150. What can $1,150 buy? The U.S. Department of Labor estimates it can provide five plus weeks of food; or one plus months of rent; or one plus months of utilities or five plus weeks of childcare.

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Executive Orders From Newark Mayor May Soon Become More Difficult to Track

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka
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NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka’s executive orders will not have to be published in newspapers should city council fully approve a new measure. 

City council on Tuesday supported and advanced the proposed ordinance, which would eliminate the public advertising requirement for executive orders. Although Councilman At-Large Carlos Gonzalez gave a yes vote to the proposal, he had some reservations. 

“Transparency calls for publication of everything that we do,” Gonzalez said. “I believe we are here going against the grain by allowing the executive orders not to be published before or after they're signed by the mayor. I believe we should err on the side of publishing everything and not withholding information from the public.”

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PALLONE OFFERS A FIX FOR SURPRISE MEDICAL EXPENSES

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Former Gov. Christie Whitman on Trump and hateful language: 'How have we fallen this far’

Posted Jul 21, 2019

By Christine Todd Whitman

We are not a people who look away when our president spews hateful rhetoric and tries to divide our country along racial lines, former Gov. Christie Whitman says. And my party, the Republican Party, must return to our roots and champion our commitment to freedom for all.

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Last week, our president used his Twitter account to tell four Democratic congresswomen of color to accept the way things are or leave the country. He equated advocating change with hating America, a far cry from the roots of the Republican Party that once fought to end slavery and segregation. When I denounced Donald Trump in December 2015, I entreated my party — the GOP — to remember our brightest moments in history, when conservatives advocated changes that would overcome hate and division. I argued that then-candidate Trump’s language was reminiscent of that used by dictators in the 1920s and 1930s, a period that did not end well.

Four years later, I have watched the Trump administration chip away at the basic tenets of our democracy and the Republican Party embrace our president’s fearmongering tactics. His hateful language is an alarming threat to our nation, and heralds the denigration of our country’s institutions.

In response to Trump’s tweets against these congresswomen (which he continues to defend), a Virginia church put up a sign stating, “America: Love it or Leave it” in front of the building. Freedom of speech is a basic tenet of our democracy, and separation of church and state has been a foundation of our Constitution, yet the two are so contorted here, it can be hard to unwind. On Wednesday night, the president stood before a campaign rally audience that began chanting, “Send her back!” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. While he subsequently has denied that he encouraged that, for an extended period of time he basked in it and didn’t resume his speech until the chant died down on its own. How have we fallen this far that a mob would suggest forcefully sending an American citizen elsewhere as a result of her suggestions for improvements to our country?

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Three more companies face scrutiny over millions in N.J. tax breaks

Posted Jul 18, 2019

The state Economic Development Authority — which is already looking at six companies that received millions in controversial tax breaks awarded by the state — is widening its investigation to include three more companies given lucrative grants that have also been called into question.

The EDA on Thursday requested what it called “clarifying information” from GoBrands, Sandoz and Express Scripts Pharmacy regarding their Grow NJ tax credits, saying the companies will be afforded the opportunity to respond to a range of questions, “including discrepancies in their applications.”

“This outreach is the first step in a process that will allow NJ EDA staff to make informed decisions, which may include recommendations to the board for any potential actions, if warranted,” the agency said.

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'Newark Is What Keeps Me Up At Night,' Says Pediatrician Who Exposed Lead Levels in Flint

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha speaks to Newark residents at St. Stephan's Grace Community Church
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NEWARK, NJ - For Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha -- the pediatrician who exposed lead levels in Flint, Mich. -- Newark’s lead crisis is one of her major concerns.  

“Newark is what keeps me up at night right now,” Hanna-Attisha said during a community meeting in the Ironbound. “I don't know how this is not a front-page story on every single newspaper. When you look at these numbers and for how long it's been going on, nobody should be sleeping on this.”

The pews were almost filled at St. Stephan's Grace Community Church as the pediatrician spoke. The event was organized through the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which is suing the city over lead, and a grassroots activist group known as the Newark Water Coalition. 

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Murphy signs law requiring survey of untested ‘rape kits’ held by police

Posted Jul 17, 2019

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed a new law directing the state attorney general and a leading advocacy group for sexual assault survivors to team up to study how the state handles “rape kits” – the physical evidence collected by medical staff and law enforcement after a reported rape.

State authorities say New Jersey does not have a backlog of untested sexual assault examination kits, as is the case in some other states. But a report from the state auditor released last month found nearly half of the kits collected by police in New Jersey go untested for a variety of reasons.

The most common reason, the report said, was that the victim did not consent to having testing done, a key requirement for authorities to move forward.

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