July 23, 2021

Volume XI, Number 204

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July 22, 2021

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July 21, 2021

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Connecticut Wage Law Amended to Require Disclosure of Wage Ranges and Change Pay Equity

Beginning October 1, 2021, Connecticut will join California, Maryland, and Washington in requiring employers with at least one employee to disclose the wage range for vacant positions to applicants and existing employees. The new law, “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position,” also amends existing law to require employers to provide employees with equal pay for “comparable” as opposed to “equal” work.

Connecticut law already prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about their wage history and permits current employees to freely discuss their wages. Under the new Act, Connecticut employers must determine the “wage range,” defined as “the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position” by reference to pay scales, current or previous actual wage ranges, or budgets.

The Act also imposes specific disclosure requirements for the benefit of applicants and employees:

  • Applicants: Employers cannot fail or refuse to provide an applicant with the wage range attendant to a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of: the applicant’s request or prior to, or at, the time the applicant receives an offer of compensation;

  • Employees: Employers cannot fail or refuse to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon hire, a position change, or the employee’s first request for a wage range.

The Act sets a two-year limitations period for bringing a civil action to remediate a violation of any of these new requirements.  Remedies include compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, punitive damages, and other legal or equitable relief.

Perhaps of greater practical significance, the Act also expands the concept of equal pay. Historically, Connecticut’s Equal Pay Act, like its federal counterpart, prohibited employers from paying someone of the opposite sex less for equal work. The amendment alters that calculus to provide that employees of the opposite sex may not be paid less for comparable work. Ascertaining whether work is “comparable” requires a review of various factors including “a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.” The Act further states that geographic location, credentials, skills, education, and training may be bona fide factors employers can consider when making compensation decisions.

In light of the new legislation, employers should review employee compensation and wage disclosure practices to ensure compliance with these new provisions by the Act’s effective date of October 1, 2021.

© 1998-2021 Wiggin and Dana LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 167
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About this Author

Mary Gambardella Litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Mary brings decades of experience in helping clients comply with ever-changing labor laws and regulations, as well as in managing employment challenges such as sensitive terminations, sexual harassment, reductions in workforce, discrimination claims, and severance agreements. She is a proactive resource for clients seeking her counsel on a variety of human resource issues before they become a costly crisis, as well as a fierce advocate when crises arise.

Mary is Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Department and regularly represents employers in...

+1 203 498 4382
Lawrence Peikes Employment litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Larry represents the interests of management in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship and is particularly experienced in litigation defense. He has advocated for employers in a wide range of employment cases—before arbitrators, mediators, and government agencies as well as in state and federal courts. In a field where most attorneys rarely appear before a judge, let alone a jury, Larry has successfully tried cases on both the federal and state levels. Despite his extensive courtroom experience, Larry is first and foremost dedicated to finding the best, most...

203-363-7609
Joshua Wyatt Labor & Employment Attorney
Associate

Josh is an Associate in Wiggin and Dana's Labor, Employment and Benefits Department.

Josh's practice is focused on defending employers against claims of discrimination in state and federal courts, as well as a variety of administrative agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Josh also represents employers in litigation regarding the enforcement of restrictive covenants. He regularly prepares and advises clients regarding employee handbooks, personnel policies and practices, implementation and enforcement of restrictive covenants, offer...

203 498 4367
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