TRENTON – The head of the Legislative Black Caucus is urging that women and minorities be treated fairly when it comes to any employment opportunities stemming from the rebuilding following Superstorm Sandy.
Sen. Ronald Rice, (D-28), Newark, announced the introduction of S2431, which would extend an existing law that ensures women and minorities receive equal employment opportunities with respect to projects funded by federal dollars.
The law was enacted in 2009 when New Jersey received federal funds by way of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“As we pick up the pieces from one of the most devastating storms ever to hit New Jersey, we should treat the rebuilding effort as an opportunity to put people back to work, regardless of their race, creed, color or gender,” Rice said in a statement.
“Historically, women and minorities have struggled for equal standing in our society and in the eyes of potential employers, and so we have crafted laws to preserve employment opportunities for them, particularly when government dollars are being spent,” he said.
“This bill extends that philosophy so that whenever the federal government grants New Jersey disaster relief aid – not just as a result of this storm, but moving forward into the future as well – that we give people an opportunity to earn a living.”
The bill would also establish the Division of Public Contracts Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance within the state Department of Treasury to oversee the implementation of the proposal.
“Whether it’s higher unemployment or it’s unequal pay for equal work, minorities and women in the workplace still face a variety of challenges, and need some kind of assurance that when jobs do come back to the state, that there will be a place for them as well,” Rice said.