A new law creates affirmative obligations for Connecticut employers to disclose wage ranges for positions to applicants and employees. The law goes into effect October 1, 2021 and applies to public and private employers in Connecticut, regardless of size.
Under the new law, an employer must provide an applicant for employment the “wage range” for the position for which the applicant is applying upon the applicant’s request or prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation, whichever comes first. Therefore, any applicant who receives an offer must be told the wage range for the position, even if the applicant did not make a request for the information.
The law applies to current employees as well. The employer must provide the wage range for the position at the time of hire, when the employee’s position with the employer changes, or when the employee requests the wage range.
The law does not require the employer to disclose the amount of wages paid to other employees. The “wage range” that must be disclosed is defined as “the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position, and may include reference to any applicable pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, actual range of wages for those employees currently holding comparable positions or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.
The law also makes subtle changes to the state’s equal pay requirements, most significantly requiring that employees receive equal pay for “comparable” work regardless of sex. Previously, the law required equal pay for “equal” work. This shift in language may make it easier for employees to claim that the compensation for two positions should be the same, even if the work is not exactly “equal.”
To ensure compliance with the new requirements, employers may choose to list the wage range on job announcements and/or applications as well as job descriptions. This would also be a good time to ensure job descriptions are up to date, that all positions classified as “exempt” meet legal requirements for exemption, and to ensure that employees’ “comparable” positions are receiving equal pay.
It would also be advisable to include the information in the offer letter, in order to comply with the requirement to make a disclosure at the time of hire. The new law creates a burden for employers to determine a wage range for every position so that it can disclose that wage range upon request or other triggering events. Further, it requires employers to disclose wage ranges during the application process, when the employer may not yet be clear on its plans.
Our attorneys are ready to assist with all labor and employment matters, including complying with this new law. Please contact us if we can assist you in complying with this mandate.