Monthly Newsletter

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR NEWS
Mickey Busca, Editor

CT Pay Equity Act

June, 2018

CONNECTICUT BANS PAY HISTORY INQUIRIES

             Effective January 1, 2019, Connecticut will be the sixth state to prohibit employers from asking applicants about salary history.  California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont has previously adopted similar bans.  The new protections to job applicants include these protections:

  • Prospective employees may not be asked about past wages and compensation histories at any point during the hiring process, although they may choose to volunteer such information;
  • Prospective employees may be asked generally whether their previous employer had stock options or other equity investments, but may not be asked to specify the value of such benefits.

Under existing Connecticut law, it is unlawful for a Connecticut employer:

  • To prohibit an employee from inquiring about the wages of another employee;
  • To prohibit employees from voluntarily discussing their wages with other employees;
  • To require employees to sign a waiver that denies them the right to voluntarily disclose the amount of their wages or the wages of another employee;
  • To require employees to sign a waiver (or other document) that denies them their right to inquire about the wages of another employee;
  • To discharge, discipline, discriminate, retaliate or otherwise penalize employees who disclose the amount of their wages to another employee;
  • To discharge, discipline, discriminate, retaliate or otherwise penalize employees who inquire about the wages of another employee (neither the employee nor the employer is required to disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee).

The new act, Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity,” allows lawsuits within two years after any alleged violation of prohibitions about salary information and salary history.  Employers found liable for violations may be required to pay compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs and punitive damages.

  

SUPREME COURT RULES FOR COLORADO BAKER

IN SAME-SEX WEDDING CAKE CASE

             Many times, certain facts in a lawsuit can sway a decision, fail to answer the question presented or leave more questions to other courts and other claims.

In a case released on June 4, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the hostility exhibited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated an expert baker and devout Christian’s religious views in his refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  Masterpiece Cakeshop, LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al.

             However, the decision is remarkably narrow and leaves open major constitutional questions that the case presented.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the 7-2 majority and held that the Commission showed animus toward the baker, Jack Phillips, when they suggested his claims of religious freedom were made to justify discrimination.  The Commission’s open hostility toward Phillips’s religious beliefs included public pronouncements that religious beliefs cannot be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparagements against his faith as despicable and rhetorical, and compared his claim of sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.

The opinion states, “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue respect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in the open market.”

 

 

 

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