As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut became one of the latest jurisdictions to prohibit employers from inquiring into applicants’ salary history. San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia, Oregon and Massachusetts have recently enacted similar laws.

Connecticut employers are now prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s wage and salary history. This prohibition also applies if an employer is using a third party (like an employment agency). The law allows salary inquiries if the applicant has voluntarily disclosed that information. Additionally, salary inquiries are allowed if federal or state law specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes. An employer may inquire about other elements of an applicant’s compensation structure, as long as such employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of such compensation structure.

The law provides for a private right of action, and individuals can recover compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and punitive damages. There is a two-year statute of limitations.

The law became effective on January 1, 2019. Employers should review their hiring policies and practices (including employment applications) to ensure they comply with these new requirements. Contact your Vorys lawyer if you have questions about permissible and impermissible pre-employment inquiries.