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Pay Equity Bill Passes House in Connecticut, April 2017

In April of this year, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that is slated to improve pay equity between men and women. However, the bill is missing a key component that bars potential employers from asking about salary history, which many say is still a huge hindrance for women.

The drawback is said to come from the fact that until now, there has not been much pay equity between the genders. By knowing the salary history of an applicant, they can low ball the new offer based on those numbers. Since women have so far been underpaid compared to their counterparts, this unwittingly puts them at a huge disadvantage. However, the bill does include provisions for other important aspects of employment law for women. For instance, women in the workforce would have their same seniority and job titles when returning from pregnancy leave.

The provisions to bar employers from asking about pay history were taken out to make the bill more palatable for lawmakers. The legislation had gone under extensive redrafting prior to being voted in, which includes complaints that are based on gender to be reported with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The bill was ultimately approved in a 139-9 vote following a two-hour debate. It will now move onto the Senate.

As the bill is now written, it would:

  • Protect workers from having their previously earned wages against them as a defense against charges regarding inequity of pay.
  • Give clarity to how the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities can both investigate and act on complaints of discrimination.
  • Reinforce the current requirements for those performing similar duties to have comparable wages.
  • Protect women and men from losing seniority after taking maternity, paternity, or other family or medical leave that is protected by the law.

If you or someone you love has been discriminated against and are receiving less in wages due to your sex or gender, contact us today. At Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys understand the law and will use our experience to protect your right to comparable wages.