Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that will restrict employers from inquiring about applicants’ salary history during the hiring process. The law will take effect on January 1, 2019.
Under the law, employers will be prohibited from inquiring or directing a third party to inquire about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information. For purposes of the law, “wages” are defined as “compensation for labor or services rendered by an employee, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, piece, commission or other basis of calculation.”
The law goes on to state that employers will still be permitted to inquire about “other elements of a prospective employee’s compensation structure, as long as such employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of such compensation structure.” However, the statute does not define the scope of such “other elements” of an applicant’s compensation structure, and it remains to be seen whether further regulations or guidance may be issued that will shed more light on the scope of this provision.
Additionally, the law will not apply to any actions taken by an employer or its agent pursuant to any federal or state law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes.
The law provides for a private right of action for aggrieved individuals, with damages that may include compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.
The Connecticut law comes hot on the heels of Vermont’s recent enactment of a similar law that will take effect on July 1, 2018.