Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 207

    February Session, 2018

Substitute Senate Bill No. 15

Senate, April 4, 2018

The Committee on Labor and Public Employees reported through SEN. GOMES of the 23rd Dist. and SEN. MINER of the 30th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING FAIR AND EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK.

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 Section 31-40z of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(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 about a prospective employee's wage and salary history before an offer of employment that includes wages has been accepted by the prospective employee 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;

[(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

October 1, 2018

31-40z

LAB

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: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

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

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 15

AN ACT CONCERNING FAIR AND EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK.

SUMMARY

This bill generally prohibits employers, including the state and its political subdivisions, from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history before the prospective employee accepts an employment offer that includes wages. 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 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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

sHB 5386, reported favorably by the Labor and Public Employees Committee, generally prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history before the prospective employee accepts an employment offer that includes wages. It also contains provisions that (1) allow employers to limit their damages in these lawsuits and (2) limits the defenses available to employers in a gender wage discrimination lawsuit.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/20/2018)

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