Beginning October 1, 2021, employers in Connecticut will be required to provide both job applicants and employees with the wage range of the position for which the applicant is applying or that the employee holds.
Connecticut Public Act 21-30 defines “wage range” as “the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position, and may include reference to any applicable pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, actual range of wages for those employees currently holding comparable positions or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.”
Employers must provide the wage range when offering an applicant a job, or when the applicant requests it during the application process, whichever is earlier. See PA 31-20 (amending Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40z and providing that an employer cannot “[f]ail or refuse to provide an applicant for employment 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”). The law prohibits employers from failing or refusing to provide current employees with the applicable wage range when employees are hired, when their position changes, or upon an employee’s first request for a wage range. See id. (Employers may not “[f]ail or refuse to provide an employee the wage range for the employee's position upon (A) the hiring of the employee, (B) a change in the employee's position with the employer, or (C) the employee's first request for a wage range.”).
Nothing in the new law requires an employer to “disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee.” In other words, the law is not a vehicle for one employee to find out what another employee makes.
Both job applicants and employees can file suit for violations of these provisions, and recover compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees. An action must be brought within two years of the alleged violation.
While the law does not take effect until October 1, it is worth making changes to account for it now in the hiring process. As noted, the wage range information must be provided to an applicant during the interview process and disclosed to the employee when hired. Accordingly, even if an employer discloses the range to an applicant during an interview or otherwise prior to the offer letter, the employer should consider including the information in the offer letter, or, if not, at another point in the onboarding process.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact the author, Michael C. D’Agostino.