On June 7, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation amending the state’s existing salary history inquiry and pay equity statutes. As we discuss below, this amendment – which goes into effect on October 1, 2021 – places additional obligations on Connecticut employers and modifies the existing standard for pay equity claims in the state.

Newly required wage range disclosures

Under the newly-adopted measures, Connecticut employers will be barred from engaging in the following actions related to the disclosure of wage ranges:

  • Failing or refusing to provide an applicant for employment the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of (A) the applicant’s request, or (B) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation; and,
  • Failing or refusing to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (A) the hiring of the employee, (B) a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or (C) the employee’s first request for a wage range.


Continue Reading Connecticut updates its salary history inquiry and pay equity laws

Federal contractors and other employers should anticipate greater scrutiny related to their compensation policies and practices as a result of recent policy shifts. President Biden has made it clear that a key priority of his administration is closing the gender and racial wage gap that currently exists in the United States, and that he plans to encourage changes at both the state and federal levels. At the federal level, that means the reintroduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the rollout of new policy initiatives, and the issuance of executive orders. This prioritization of pay equity will likely result in renewed enforcement efforts related to pay discrimination from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). State legislatures also continue to pass laws enhancing pay equity and transparency.

Background

The Equal Pay Act (EPA), passed in 1963, was one of the first anti-discrimination laws enacted and was intended to abolish wage disparity based on sex. The act prohibits wage discrimination between men and women who perform jobs that require substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility within the same company. Despite the existence of the EPA, however, the gender-wage gap still exists with the focus on pay disparities across both gender and race, as evidenced by statistical data.

Biden priority

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, President Biden created the White House Gender Policy Council via Executive Order, to ensure that gender equity and equality are pursued in domestic and international policy. Specifically, the Council is tasked with advancing gender equity and equality by coordinating federal policies and programs that address the structural barriers to women’s participation in the labor force and by decreasing wage and wealth gaps. The Council is to work closely with the Domestic Policy Council, which is coordinating the interagency, whole-of-government strategy for advancing equity, as set forth in Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.) In addition, the President has promised additional funding for agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to investigate violations and enforce pay equity laws.

Continue Reading Biden’s pay equity priority: federal and state updates, and what federal contractors can expect going forward

On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance into law. The bill amends the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s wage history at any point during the hiring process. Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted in favor of the legislation in December 2016.

Introduced by Councilman-at-large William Greenlee, the Wage Equity Law is intended to reduce wage inequality, particularly among minorities and women. Companies often use a new hire’s prior salary as a baseline for setting the employee’s new compensation. By prohibiting companies from asking prospective employees how much they earned at their last jobs, the bill seeks to prevent unequal wages and salaries from following employees through their entire careers.

In addition to prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their wage history, the ordinance prohibits employers from:
Continue Reading Philadelphia Employers Barred from Asking about Wage History