To promote pay equity, Connecticut implemented a salary history ban in January 2019 which prohibited employers form inquiring about a candidate’s prior salary history. Now, the state is taking an additional step to combat pay disparity issues via House Bill No. 6830 (An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position), which was signed by Governor Ned Lamont on June 7, 2021. The new law which will become effective on October 1, 2021, requires employers to disclose the “wage range” for vacant positions to both job applicants and existing employees, and the law makes it unlawful to:
- “Fail or refuse to provide an applicant for employment the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of (A) the applicant’s request, or (B) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation; or
- Fail or refuse to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (A) the hiring of the employee, or (B) a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or (C) the employee’s first request for a wage range.”
A “wage range” is the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position and may include:
- Any applicable pay scale;
- Previously determined wage ranges for the position;
- Actual wage ranges for employees currently holding comparable positions; or
- The employer’s budgeted amount for the position.
The law does not require an employer to “disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee.”
The law now also makes it unlawful to engage in gender-based pay discrimination “for comparable work on a job.” Determining whether the work is “comparable” requires a review of various factors, such as “skill, effort, and responsibility” required by the positions. According to the law, employers must also demonstrate that any pay disparity is based on “a bona fide factor other than sex, including, but not limited to, education, training, credential, skill, geographic location or experience.”
The law allows employees or prospective employees to bring a private right of action to address alleged violations of the law which may permit individuals to seek compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, punitive damages and other equitable relief.
Employers should review their practices, including disclosure of salary ranges to ensure that they provide the information to employees and prospective employees as required by the law. For some employers, this may require the development and implementation of salary ranges where they did not previously exist. Employers should work with their legal counsel to review and adjust their existing salary practices and address any disparities in their pay practices.