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House of Representatives

File No. 644

General Assembly

 

February Session, 2018

(Reprint of File No. 196)

Substitute House Bill No. 5386

 

As Amended by House Amendment
Schedule "A"

Approved by the Legislative Commissioner

April 23, 2018

AN ACT CONCERNING PAY EQUITY.

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

Section 1. Section 31-40z of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2019):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Employer" means any individual, corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, voluntary association, joint stock association, the state and any political subdivision thereof and any public corporation within the state using the services of one or more employees for pay;

(2) "Employee" means any individual employed or permitted to work by an employer; and

(3) "Wages" means compensation for labor or services rendered by an employee, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, piece, commission or other basis of calculation.

(b) No employer shall:

(1) Prohibit an employee from disclosing or discussing the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee of such employer that have been disclosed voluntarily by such other employee;

(2) Prohibit an employee from inquiring about the wages of another employee of such employer;

(3) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that denies the employee his or her right to disclose or discuss the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee of such employer that have been disclosed voluntarily by such other employee;

(4) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that denies the employee his or her right to inquire about the wages of another employee of such employer;

(5) Inquire or direct a third party to inquire about a prospective employee's wage and salary history unless a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information, except that this subdivision shall not apply to any actions taken by an employer, employment agency or employee or agent thereof pursuant to any federal or state law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer from inquiring about other elements of a prospective employee's compensation structure, as long as such employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of such compensation structure;

[(5)] (6) Discharge, discipline, discriminate against, retaliate against or otherwise penalize any employee who discloses or discusses the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee of such employer that have been disclosed voluntarily by such other employee; or

[(6)] (7) Discharge, discipline, discriminate against, retaliate against or otherwise penalize any employee who inquires about the wages of another employee of such employer.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any employer or employee to disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee.

(d) An action to redress a violation of subsection (b) of this section may be maintained in any court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees or prospective employees. An employer who violates subsection (b) of this section may be found liable for compensatory damages, attorney's fees and costs, punitive damages and such legal and equitable relief as the court deems just and proper.

(e) No action shall be brought for any violation of subsection (b) of this section except within two years after such violation.

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

Section 1

January 1, 2019

31-40z

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: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history under certain circumstances. This does not result in any fiscal impact to the state or municipalities.

House “A” alters the original bill by adjusting the exceptions to the prohibition on requesting wage and salary history, and by eliminating: 1) the provisions allowing an employer to limit its damages from alleged violations, and 2) the provision pertaining to seniority systems in certain gender wage discrimination lawsuits.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5386 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS PAY EQUITY AND FAIRNESS MATTERS.

SUMMARY

This bill generally prohibits employers, including the state and its political subdivisions, from asking, or directing a third-party to ask, about a prospective employee's wage and salary history. The prohibition does not apply (1) if the prospective employee voluntarily discloses his or her wage and salary history or (2) to any actions taken by an employer, employment agency, or its employees or agents under a federal or state law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes. The bill also allows an employer to ask about the other elements of a prospective employee's compensation structure (e.g., stock options), but the employer may not ask about their value.

The bill allows prospective employees to bring a lawsuit within two years after an alleged violation of the bill's prohibition on asking about salary histories. 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.

*House Amendment “A” delays the effective date from October 1, 2018 to January 1, 2019 and eliminates provisions that generally would have (1) allowed employers to ask about the value of a prospective employee's stocks or equity, (2) allowed employers to seek a court order to disallow compensatory or punitive damages, and (3) required certain employers to count an employee's time spent on protected family and medical leave towards the employee's seniority.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2019

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

sSB 15, reported favorably by the Labor and Public Employees Committee, also generally prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/20/2018)

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