Last Friday, as new laws took effect in Connecticut, State Senator Pat Billie Miller (D-Stamford/Darien) celebrated legislation enacted into law which she first introduced as a State Representative. Public Act No. 21-30, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF SALARY RANGE FOR A VACANT POSITION, requires employers to disclose the “wage range” to job applicants before or when they are offered the position or at their request, whichever is first. The same applies when an employee changes positions or whenever they request the information. The law also expands the prohibition of wage discrimination based on gender.
“We are taking another step closer to eliminating workplace discrimination and the pay gaps women and people of color have experienced for years,” said Senator Miller. “Women should always be equally compensated for the work they perform that is comparable to what men do. I am proud to see that Connecticut is ranked among the few states that are moving toward closing its gender wage gap, while also contributing to a more inclusive work environment for men and women.”
As the state continues to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that Connecticut remain a leader in gender equity. Secrecy around salary ranges harms all workers, especially women and people of color. Research shows that women often ask for less when they negotiate than men, even when they are equally qualified and applying for similar jobs as their male counterparts.
Since women and people of color are paid less than white, non-Hispanic men, they would need to ask for a substantial percentage increase to reduce the wage gaps – making salaries more equitable. Providing applicants and employees with salary ranges will help level the playing field and move us closer to eliminating the gender and racial pay gaps that have existed for decades. Among other reasons, salary range transparency builds trust amongst employers, employees, and potential candidates.