As we have noted previously, the State’s new “wage range” notice law becomes effective October 1, 2021. In advance of that effective date, the Connecticut Department of Labor recently issued non-binding “guidance” on the law.
The new guidance tracks State law in many facets and thus much of it is fairly straightforward. However, a few portions of the guidance differs in various degrees from what some believe the law to be. Thus, it is important that employers take heed of the warning from the guidance itself that it “does not constitute legal advice” and that “a court may have a different interpretation.”
The guidance states:
- That the law applies to employers “within the state”, and suggests that it applies also to people outside this state who are “applying for work by remote means with an employer in the state.”
- The law applies to any individual “who applies for a job” and it should be read “broadly.”
- Generally, discretionary pay (including certain bonuses) does not constitute wages and therefore does not need to be included in any wage range disclosures.
- The wage range disclosure is limited to the position that the applicant is applying; employers are not “required to provide the applicant with information concerning the amount of wages paid to any other employees.”
The guidance and, by extension, the law itself, still leaves some questions open. For example, the law doesn’t define exactly when an individual becomes an “applicant.” Moreover, while the guidance suggests that some remote workers can be considered employees of a Connecticut company, there will clearly be other situations when they do not. It remains to be tested by a court whether an individual located in another state who works for a Connecticut employer exclusively in the employee’s home state (with those state taxes withheld, etc.) is really covered by this Act.
The guidance is obviously a helpful step toward understanding the new law, but it is far from definitive. Employers will still have to consult with legal counsel to ensure maximum compliance under the law.