CT Employers: As of January 1, You Cannot Ask Applicants about their Prior Salary!
Back in May, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity.” The law is part of the “Equal Pay” movement which has been sweeping the country aiming to bridge the gap between the genders and their respective paychecks. Its effective date is officially upon us.
On January 1, 2019, Connecticut employers may no longer ask prospective employees about their past wages or the value of other types of compensation they received at any point during the hiring process. The logic is by setting employees’ salaries based on what they were paid at their last job, employers may perpetuate gender discrimination that began long ago.
Under the new law, an “employer” is any entity with even one employee. Employer means any individual, corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, public corporation, joint stock association, or voluntary association. The term “prospective employee” is not defined, but would appear to encompass any individual who submits a job application or participates in an interview (formal or not) with an employer.
Notably, the law does not stop at prohibiting inquiries about wage and salary history. The law also prohibits asking prospective employee about the value of other elements of their prior compensation structure (think: stock options, retirement benefits, health insurance, etc.) The prohibition does not apply, however, if the prospective employee voluntarily discloses the information or if an employer is specifically authorized to make these employment-related inquiries by a federal or state law.
Employers in Connecticut should review their applications to make sure there is no request for this type of information and revise their hiring practices as necessary to comply with the law before the new year. The equal pay movement shows no signs of slowing – there are currently 10 other states with similar pay history bans, and more states and local governments are pushing to join the ranks. For more information on how other states are handling this movement, see our previous article here.
Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws including equal pay laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.454.0560.