Connecticut Requires Employers to Disclose Wage Range & Expands Equal Pay Act

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Connecticut recently passed legislation that builds upon the state’s existing laws that address pay equity.  ‘An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for Vacant Positions’ will go into effect October 1, 2021 and will require Connecticut employers—comprised of one or more employees—to provide a prospective employee with  "wage range” information for the open position being applied to. This needs to occur either when the applicant requests the information or prior to/at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation (whichever happens first). The law defines wage range as  “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.”

Additionally, employers are required to provide current employees the wage range information for their position upon hiring, a change in the employee's position, or at the employee's first request for a wage range.

The state’s equal pay law also underwent revisions. Employers were already prohibited from discriminating the amount of compensation paid to any employee based on sex. Previously, employers were prohibited from paying employees of the opposite sex less money for “equal” work. The language of the law has been amended to “comparable” work. Factors such as skill, effort, and responsibility are evaluated when deeming if work is considered comparable.

The existing law already allowed for pay differential if it was based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential system based upon a bona fide factor other than sex. While several bona fide factors already existed—such as education, training, and experience—the law expands the list to also include credential, skill and geographic location.

As a reminder, since January 1, 2019, Connecticut’s existing law already prohibits employers—with one or more employees—from inquiring into a prospective employee’s salary history, either directly or through a third party, at any point during the hiring process. Known as a ‘salary history ban’ these types of laws aim to address the wage gap between men and women and help prevent the perpetuation of wage inequality.

Impacted employers may need to evaluate their compensation structure and institute wage ranges for positions in preparation of the October 1 effective date. 

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