The 2018 Connecticut legislative session just finished, and one significant employment related law passed – Pay Equity. Three other significant bills were considered with two making it out of committee – a bill to update the Sexual Harassment training regulations and a bill increasing the minimum wage, but neither were considered for a vote.

Sexual Harassment

The current Connecticut training regulation is still in-force – all employers with 50 or more employees must ensure that supervisors are provided with two hours of sexual harassment prevention training within six months of hiring or being promoted into a supervisory role.

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Connecticut remains $10.10 per hour.

Pay Equity

Once this bill is signed into law, (Governor Malloy has indicated that he will) employers will be prohibited from inquiring or directing a third party (e.g. staffing agency) to inquire about an applicant’s compensation history, unless the applicant voluntarily discloses it. The bill does allow employers to seek information about the elements of a candidate’s current compensation structure, such as bonus and/or stock options – as long as the value of those elements are not included.

The overall concept behind the bill is to prevent further inequities in pay between men and women. The Hartford Courant reported that women earn approximately 83 cents for every dollar men earn.

How Should Employers Prepare?

Before this bill becomes law on January 1, 2019, ensure:

  1. All managers and those conducting interviews are properly trained as to what can and cannot be asked during an interview.
  2. Staffing agencies and other outside recruiters (especially those from outside of Connecticut) are aware of the new requirements.
  3. No employment application, job board or other electronic Applicant Tracking System (ATS) inquires into an applicant’s compensation history.

Although only one employment related bill was passed during this year’s Connecticut legislative session, it was an important one that requires employers to ensure they are prepared for January 1, 2019 when it becomes law. Employers shouldn’t wait until then to update policies, training and systems to ensure compliance.

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