Background

Joining Massachusetts, Vermont, and a handful of other states addressing pay inequity, Connecticut recently enacted a ban prohibiting employers from inquiring about salary history. The wave of similar legislation is intended to help remedy the wage gap between men and women. “Income inequity,” according to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, “is perpetuated by the practice of asking for salary history before an offer is made, which can disproportionately ensure that women are underpaid at their first job and continue to be underpaid throughout their careers.”

What employers need to know

Public Act 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity” was signed into law in May and takes effect January 1, 2019. Employers will be prohibited from asking about past wages and compensation at any point in the hiring process, although prospective employees may choose to volunteer the information. Employers may inquire as to whether the prospective employee had stock options or other equity incentives but may not ask for specific values of those benefits. Applicants will be entitled to sue employers within two years of any violations, regardless of whether they are hired.

Next steps for employers

  1. Remove any questions surrounding pay history from your job application and hiring process and ensure that any recruiters and background screening vendors you are working with have done the same.
  2. Make sure your hiring managers and those involved in the interview process are trained to not ask questions about salary history.
  3. Refrain from releasing salary information for past employees without specific written authorization from the employee.
  4. If you are one of our full-service clients, we will help you review your employment application and share some sample interview questions to ensure that you will be compliant with these new regulations.

This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.