Over the weekend, the General Assembly approved a bill prohibiting 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.
I have previously discussed the measure here. There were a few versions floating around and it was House Bill 5386 that carried the day (as amended).
The prohibition does not apply in two situations:
- if the prospective employee voluntarily discloses his or her wage and salary history, or;
- 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.
While salary may not be inquired, the bill DOES allow 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 has a two year statute of limitations. 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. This bill amends Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-40z
As amended, the effective date of the bill is now January 1, 2019.
The final bill is different from a prior bill because it 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.
For employers, upon signature from the governor, this bill will become law. As such, employers should notify all of their hiring personnel of the new restrictions that are likely to go in place effective January 1, 2019. I’ll have more updates after the legislative session winds down this week.