Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 50

    January Session, 2017

Substitute House Bill No. 5210

House of Representatives, March 13, 2017

The Committee on Labor and Public Employees reported through REP. PORTER of the 94th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 31-75 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) No employer shall discriminate in the amount of compensation paid to any employee on the basis of sex. Any difference in pay based on sex shall be deemed a discrimination within the meaning of this section.

(b) If an employee can demonstrate that his or her employer discriminates on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at the employer's business at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex at such business for equal work on a job, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, such employer must demonstrate that such differential in pay is made pursuant to (1) a seniority system, provided time spent on leave due to a pregnancy-related condition or protected family and medical leave shall not reduce seniority; (2) a merit system; (3) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (4) a differential system based upon a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training or experience. Said bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor (A) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, and (B) is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Such defense shall not exist where the employee demonstrates that an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential and that the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.

(c) No employer shall discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against any person because such person has opposed any discriminatory compensation practice or because such person has filed a complaint or testified or assisted in any proceeding pursuant to section 31-76.

(d) No employer shall inquire about a prospective employee's wage and salary history before an offer of employment with compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee unless a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information.

(e) It shall be an affirmative defense in any action against an employer alleging a violation of subsection (a) of this section that the employer, within the previous three years and prior to the commencement of the action, has completed a self-evaluation of its pay practices in good faith and can demonstrate that reasonable progress has been made to eliminate wage differentials based on gender for equal work. An employer shall not use an employee's prior wage and salary history as a defense to such action.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017



Joint Favorable Subst.


The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected


FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Labor Dept.

GF - Potential Cost

Less than 37,500

Less than 50,000

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None


The bill prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history under certain circumstances and makes several changes to defenses available to employers in a gender wage discrimination lawsuit. To the extent complaints are filed under the bill's provisions, this results in a potential cost of less than $37,500 in FY 18 and less than $50,000 annually thereafter to the Labor Department associated with staff overtime for investigation and subsequent hearings.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the frequency of complaints and investigations.

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5210



This bill prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history before negotiating his or her job offer and compensation, unless the prospective employee has already voluntarily disclosed the history.

It also makes several changes to the defenses available to employers in a gender wage discrimination lawsuit. It:

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017


Gender Wage Discrimination

The law generally prohibits gender wage discrimination by requiring employers to pay employees an equal wage for a job that (1) requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and (2) is performed under similar working conditions. However, employers with pay differentials can defend themselves by showing that the differentials are based on (1) seniority; (2) merit; (3) a system that measures production quantity or quality; or (4) bona fide factors such as job-related education, training, or experience.


Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute