Connecticut Pay Equity Bill Moves Forward
Earlier this week, bill HB5591, which has been touted as legislation that will help to close the gender pay gap between Connecticut employees, cleared the House of Representatives with a vote of 139-9. The bill, unlike the Massachusetts law that goes into effect next year, does not include a provision that would prevent employers from asking applicants about their salary history before making a job offer.
Many other states across the country, however, have bills similar to that passed by Massachusetts pending, including in Maine, which would restrict employers' abilities to request information concerning previous rates of pay. Prior to this legislation moving forward, Lee Hansen in the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research published a comparison of Massachusetts and Connecticut's labor laws relative to gender wage discrimination in a Research Report on December 16, 2016.
The Connecticut bill provides that an employer cannot reduce employee seniority based on time spent on pregnancy-related or family and medical leave. Further, the bill provides the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity the power to investigate wage discrimination complaints, as opposed to the Connecticut Department of Labor. Verrill Dana's Labor and Employment Practice Group will continue to keep readers updated as this bill progresses.