Act prohibits asking prospective employees about past compensation
On May 22, 2018, Governor Dannel Malloy, signed the “Act Concerning Pay Equity” to combat the pay inequities for women and people of color. Effective January 1, 2019, employers cannot ask, either directly or through a third party, about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history until the individual volunteers the information.
Under the new law, an “employer” is any individual, corporation, LLC, firm, partnership, public corporation, joint stock association, or voluntary association with at least one employee. The Act prohibits inquiries about wages, including rates for tasks or piece work, commission or the value of other elements of their compensation structure. However, employers can ask what other components comprise the employee’s compensation structure. The only exemption is when a state or federal law requires or authorizes an employer to verify a prospective employee’s past income.
Prospective employees who rights have been violated may bring a claim against an employer in court within two years of the alleged violation. Employers may be liable for compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, punitive damages, and possibly other legal and equitable relief.
To prepare, employers should review their employment applications to ensure that they do not request wage or salary information from previous employment. Additionally, informing hiring managers of these prohibitions would be prudent.