Connecticut Amends Its Pay Equity Laws, Requiring Wage Range Disclosure and More
Recently, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law , “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position,” (the Act). The Act amends the state’s current pay equity laws by requiring Connecticut employers to disclose the wage range of vacant positions to applicants and current employees and by modifying the prohibition against sex-based compensation discrimination. The Act goes into effect on October 1, 2021.
Under the new law, Connecticut employers are prohibited from:
- Failing or refusing to provide a job applicant 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; and
- Failing or refusing to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (a) the hiring of the employee, (b) a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or (c) the employee’s first request for a wage range.
“Wage range” is defined to mean “the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position, and may include reference to any applicable pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, actual range of wages for those employees currently holding comparable positions, or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.”
In passing the Act, Connecticut also extends its prohibition against sex-based discriminatory pay practices to comparable work. It has been unlawful for an employer to pay an employee less than what it pays an employee of the opposite sex for equal work. The Act, however, amends the law to prohibit an employer from paying an employee less than it pays an employee of the opposite sex for comparable work. According to the law, “comparable” work is assessed “when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.” Defenses to claims of sex-based pay discrimination have included that the pay differential is made pursuant to: (1) a seniority system, (2) a merit system, (3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (4) a differential system based upon a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training or experience. The Act expands this list of bona fide factors to include also credential, skill and geographic location.
Notably, applicants and employees can bring a lawsuit for violations of the Act’s requirements within two years of the violation, and Connecticut employers may be liable for compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees as well as other legal and equitable relief.
Take-Aways for Employers:
To ensure timely compliance with the Act, Connecticut employers should review and update their existing policies and practices relating to disclosure of wage ranges by October 1, 2021. Also, employers may want to review their pay practices and address any pay disparities that could pose a litigation risk under the new law.
If you’d like to discuss the requirements of the Act or your obligations under Connecticut law, please contact Natasha Lipcan at 203-820-6754 or email@example.com.
Natasha Lipcan (New York team) is an employment law attorney with more than 20 years of experience representing private employers in a broad range of employee-related matters. She handles a wide range of employment issues, including employment law compliance, organizational change, diversity and inclusion, employment-related agreements, arbitrations and litigations, wage and hour, workplace training and policies, and recruiting, hiring, managing and terminating employees.