The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued non-binding “guidance” on the state’s new “wage range” law. You can access it here.
The guidance is helpful in some ways but confusing in others. Importantly, employers should take the caveats noted in the guidance seriously; as it notes, this guidance “does not constitute legal advice”. Moreover, “if a complaint is filed in court, the court may have a different interpretation”.
Thus, employers should be sure to seek out actual legal advice as to how the law will apply to them.
But a few items of the guidance are worth pointing out. The guidance:
- States that the law applies to employers “within the state”.
- Suggests that it applies also to people outside this state who are “applying for work by remote means with an employer in the state”.
- States that the law applies to any individual “who applies for a job” and it should be read “broadly”.
- States that generally, discretionary pay (including certain bonuses) does not constitute wages and therefore doesn’t need to be included in any wage range disclosures.
- States that the wage range disclosure is limited to the position that the applicant is applying; employers are not “required to provide the applicant with information concerning the amount of wages paid to any other employees.”
The guidance and, by extension, the law itself, still leaves some questions open. For example, the law doesn’t define exactly when an individual becomes an “applicant”. Moreover, while the guidance suggests that some remote workers can be considered employees of a Connecticut company, there will clearly be other situations when they do not. It remains to be tested by a Court whether an individual located in Nebraska who works for a Connecticut employer exclusively in Nebraska (with Nebraska taxes withheld etc.) is really covered by this Act.
The guidance is obviously a helpful step towards understanding the new law but it is far from definitive. Employers will still have to consult with legal counsel to ensure maximum compliance under the law.