January 1st is typically a time for new laws to kick in and 2019 is no exception.
For employers, the biggest change is one that I discussed way back in May with amendments to Connecticut’s Pay Equity law.
The new law prohibits employers from asking a job applicant his or her wage and salary history. But 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 law 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 if you’re looking for the pinpoint legal citations.)
Note that this ban on inquiries also applies to applications or other recruiting forms too. So, if your application asks for prior salary history, it’s time to eliminate that. Employers should inform manager and other employees who conduct interviews about this requirement as well.