On July 2, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 15-196, entitled An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.  The new law is intended to end pay secrecy, and specifically bars employers from:

1.  Prohibiting an employee from disclosing, inquiring about, or discussing the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee;

2.  Requiring an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee his or her right to disclose, inquire about, or discuss the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee; or

3.  Discharging, disciplining, discriminating against, retaliating against or otherwise penalizing any employee who discloses, inquires about, or discusses the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee.

Employees who believe their employer has violated the law can sue for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and equitable relief.  The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the violation.

The “employees” protected by the new law are “any individual[s] employed or permitted to work by an employer.”  Its coverage is therefore broader that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which has been interpreted to prohibit a similar ban on pay discussions, because the NLRA excludes certain managerial and supervisory employees from its protections.  Connecticut’s law does not.

The new law takes effect immediately.  Employers would be well advised to review their policies, contracts, pay communications, and other documents to ensure that they do not ban or limit employee discussions regarding pay or otherwise restrict the activities protected by the new law.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages…

Allan S. Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York TimesReutersBloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters such as executive transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He also has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated and arbitrated cases, including at FINRA and its predecessors, for more than 20 years.
A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Senior Editor), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA, Final Proof Editor), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR, Editor), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE, Chapter Author).

Allan is a member of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates, sits on the Executive Committee of the NYSBA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.