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Connecticut Joins Salary History Ban Movement

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Connecticut is the latest state to join the legislative trend of prohibiting employers from asking applicants about salary history, a movement also referred to as a “salary history ban”. These laws are predicated on what numerous studies have repeatedly confirmed: Women historically and statistically earn less than men in the same or similar positions, a fact that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy called “completely unacceptable.” (See the Governor’s Press Release for more information). In the press release, Governor Malloy stated that “the practice of asking prospective employees for their salary history before an offer of employment is put on the table…disproportionately ensures that women who were underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid throughout their careers.”

 Public Act No. 18-8

On May 22, 2018, Malloy signed Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity” into law in an effort to combat the wage inequalities women in the workplace experience by prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history at any point during the hiring process. The law takes effect January 1, 2019.
The law also prohibits employers from directing a third party, such as a background screening company, from inquiring into the prospective employee’s wage history unless the individual has voluntarily disclosed the information or there is a legal requirement. As a standard, Asurint does not verify or request the wage or salary history of individuals during the background screening process. 
Finally, the law provides individuals additional protections, including the private right of action that allows impacted prospective employees the right to sue the employer directly within two (2) years after any alleged violation.

Salary Ban Laws in Other States

Several other states have adopted similar legislation that restricts the use of salary history information; however, there are variations to these laws. For example, some states allow employers to confirm prior wages only after an offer of employment has been extended. Employers should consult legal counsel on implementing changes to job applications and hiring policies in light of this upcoming law in Connecticut, especially if they hire in multiple jurisdictions that may have conflicting requirements.

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