PA 15-196—HB 6850

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PAY EQUITY AND FAIRNESS

SUMMARY: This act prohibits employers, including the state and municipalities, from taking certain steps to limit their employees' ability to share information about their wages. Under the act, such sharing involves employees of the same employer (i. e. , co-workers) (1) disclosing or discussing the amount of their own wages or another co-worker's voluntarily disclosed wages or (2) asking about a co-worker's wages. Specifically, the act bans employers from (1) prohibiting their employees from such sharing; (2) requiring employees to sign a waiver or document that denies their right to such sharing; and (3) discharging, disciplining, discriminating or retaliating against, or otherwise penalizing employees for such sharing. It specifies that it does not require an employer or employee to disclose any employee's wages.

The act allows employees to bring a lawsuit to redress a violation of its provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction. Employees have two years after an alleged violation to bring the suit. Employers can be found liable for compensatory damages, attorney's fees and costs, punitive damages, and any legal and equitable relief the court deems just and proper.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

EMPLOYERS AND WAGES

Under the act, an employer is any individual, corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, voluntary association, joint stock association, the state and any of its political subdivisions, and any public corporation in the state with at least one paid employee. Wages are compensation for an employee's labor or services, regardless of whether they are determined by time, task, piece, commission, or other basis of calculation.

OLR Tracking: LRH; JR; TA; BS