On 7 June 2021, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed HB Number 6380, which requires employers to disclose to applicants and employees the “wage range” for vacant positions and expands the state’s prohibition of gender-based pay discrimination to require equal pay for "comparable" (as opposed to "equal") work. The new requirements are scheduled to take effect on 1 October 2021.
Presently, Connecticut law prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about past compensation. Under HB 6380, employers have affirmative obligations to provide wage information, as an employer may not:
- Fail or refuse to provide a job applicant the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of (a) the applicant’s request, or (b) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation; or
- Fail or refuse to provide a current employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (a) hiring, (b) a change in the employee’s position, or (c) the employee’s request for a wage range.
“Wage range” is defined as the “range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position.” It can include reference to pay scales, previously determined range of wages for the position, actual ranges for those employees currently holding comparable positions, or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.
Additionally, HB 6380 modifies the prohibition against sex-based compensation decisions as it prohibits employees of the opposite sex being paid less for comparable work. Determining whether work is comparable requires a review of various factors including “a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.” The new law makes clear that geographic location, credentials, skills, education, and training may be genuine factors other than sex on which employers may make compensation decisions.
An individual may bring a civil action for violations of these new requirements within two years after a violation. An employer who violates the law may be found liable for compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, punitive damages, and other legal and equitable relief.