- Connecticut’s law requiring employers to disclose a position’s wage range to employees and applicants under certain circumstances took effect Oct. 1
- Connecticut Business & Industry Association says guidance from the state’s Department of Labor offers some insights on the issue, but leaves some questions unanswered
- Employers have some leeway in how they set compensation, including how they offer raises or bonuses
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Guidance on Connecticut’s new wage range disclosure law leaves some unanswered questions but also allows employers some potential leeway in setting compensation, according to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.
The law says the information does not need to be posted publicly, but requires employers to disclose a wage range for a position to employees upon their hire, when their position in the company changes, or upon the employee’s first request for the information. Employers must also disclose a wage range to job applicants upon their request or when they are offered the job.
CBIA reviewed guidance on the law from the Connecticut Department of Labor which was released on Sept. 28, three days before the law went into effect. The organization says that while the three-page document offers helpful insights on the department’s view on the subject, it is also non-binding and could thus potentially be ignored during any legal proceedings.
The guidance says the legislation applies to employees based outside of Connecticut that work for an employer in the state. Employees may ask a co-worker for their wage range, but applicants may not seek compensatory information on any position other than the one to which they are applying.
The definition of an applicant is one area which is rather vague, according to the CBIA. The guidance states that an applicant is broadly considered to be anyone who applies for a job with the company, and says businesses shouldn’t set their own definition in an effort to protect proprietary or compensatory information. CBIA says this definition fails to determine what constitutes an applicant, such as whether anyone who submits a resume can receive a wage range or if it only applies to applicants at a later stage, such as those who have completed an interview.
A wage range is defined by the Connecticut Department of Labor as a range of wages the employer expects to rely on when setting a salary for the position. These could be based on factors such as an applicable wage scale, previously determined wages for position, wage ranges in comparable positions, or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position. Wages can include commissions and predetermined bonuses, but not discretionary pay.
CBIA says the definition allows employers some flexibility, as the ability to base wage ranges on a budgeted amount allows the range to change from year to year. The organization says employers can also exercise discretion in offering raises or bonuses based on factors like the company’s financial health or an employee’s skill or experience.