Connecticut becomes the first state to pass a new law regarding disclosure of salary ranges. Governor Ned Lamont signed into law June 7, 2021, the Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position (Act). The Act, which goes into effective October 1, 2021, requires employers to disclose to job applicants and employees the salary ranges for positions.

The new law also expands Connecticut’s prohibition of gender-based pay discrimination from requiring equal pay for “equal work” to equal pay for “comparable work.”

Under the Act, Connecticut employers must:
  • Provide an applicant the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying upon the earliest of (1) the applicant’s request, or (2) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation.
  • Provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (1) the hiring of the employee, (2) a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or (3) the employee’s first request for a wage range.

The law defines “wage range” as “the ranges of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position.” It can include reference to pay scales, previously determined wages for the position, actual ranges for the employees who currently hold a comparable position, or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.

Significantly, the law allows employees or prospective employees to bring a private right of action to address alleged violations of the law. If successful, the individual can seek compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, punitive damages, and other equitable relief.

Until amended by the Act, Connecticut’s prohibition on gender-based pay discrimination provided that an employer could not pay an employee less than what the employer was paying an employee of the opposite sex for equal work. Under the Act, employers cannot discriminate on wage rates paid to employees of opposite sex for “comparable work on a job, when viewed as composite of skill, effort and responsibility and performed under similar working conditions.”

Employers can only justify differences in pay if it is based on (a) a seniority system, (b) a merit system, (c) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or (d) a differential system based upon a bona fide factor other than sex, “including, but not limited to, education, training, credential, skill, geographic location or experience.”

Connecticut Employers Next Steps:
  • Employers should, before October 1, 2021, review their personnel practices to ensure a system is in place for timely responding to applicant and employee requests for wage range information;
  • Employers should create wage ranges for all positions if they do not currently exist;
  • Employers should inform human resources and other hiring staff about the wage range disclosure requirements;
  • Employers should consider conducting an audit of pay rates and job descriptions to ensure that there are no pay differences within each position that cannot be explained by one of the bona fide factors outlined in the Act.

 

Katie Hall, Director of HR Consulting

Need assistance navigating these new wage disclosure requirements, and to ensure your hiring policies are implemented and/or updated accordingly? Email Katie

With over a decade of diversified knowledge, Katie has extensive experience leading HR initiatives including policy design, compensation, performance management, recruiting, compliance reporting, HR workflow development, training and development, and benefits administration. She assists R+R clients with recruiting and retaining quality staff working closely with businesses in regards to their benefits, training and compensation programs.

 

Reynolds + Rowella is a regional accounting and consulting firm known for a team approach to financial problem solving. As Certified Public Accountants, our partners foster a personal touch with our clients. As members of DFK International/USA, an association of accountants and advisors, our professional network is international, yet many of our clients have known us for years through the local communities we serve.

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