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Connecticut Employers Must Disclose Wage Ranges for Vacant Positions

Connecticut Employers Must Disclose Wage Ranges for Vacant Positions

Connecticut employers must disclose wage ranges to applicants and employees for vacant positions, as the state’s new law aimed at eliminating gender-based pay discrimination—”An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position”—took effect Oct. 1. Here’s what employers need to know about this new legal obligation.The BasicsThis law, which is an extension of Connecticut’s existing pay equity laws, expands the prohibition on sex-based pay discrimination from “equal” work to “comparable” work. “Comparable” work will be viewed as a composite of “skill, effort and responsibility” when performed “under similar working conditions.” This subtle yet significant shift could open the door to increased liability for employers.What’s Now Prohibited?Under this law, employers cannot:Fail or refuse to provide an applicant for employment the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of (A) the applicant’s request, or (B) prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation.Fail or refuse to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon (A) the hiring of the employee, (B) a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or (C) the employee’s first request for a wage range.The law defines “wage range” as “the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position, and may include reference to any applicable pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, actual range of wages for those employees currently holding comparable positions or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position.”While there are currently no regulations or court decisions to help clarify the limits of this law, employers are advised to take a reasonably conservative approach in complying with this new law.Who is Covered?Under this new law, the provisions apply to employees who work in a Connecticut office, work from home in Connecticut, or live in Connecticut and report to an office outside of the state.  Additionally, employers should be prepared to proactively provide wage ranges for vacant roles to applicants and employees even if the applicant or employee does not request that information.What Should You Do?Employers should take steps to determine appropriate wage ranges for each position and be prepared to disclose the ranges upon request by employees or applicants, or proactively. You will want to work with your hiring teams to adjust your policies and practices to ensure compliance with the law. This could also serve as a reminder that it could be to your benefit to conduct an attorney-client privileged pay audit at your organization sooner rather than later.Jeffrey A. Fritz is an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Boston. Setareh Ebrahimian is an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Washington, D.C. © 2021 Fisher Phillips. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.  …

Syracuse University Agrees to Pay $3.7 Million to Settle Pay Equity Claims

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Syracuse University Agrees to Pay $3.7 Million to Settle Pay Equity Claims

​On Oct. 1, Syracuse University and plaintiffs’ law firm Outten & Golden agreed to resolve allegations of compensation discrimination raised by five female faculty members. Under the settlement, the university will pay $3.7 million to resolve the claims.”We are pleased that Syracuse has agreed to resolve the claims, and the settlement will provide meaningful relief to our clients and other female faculty,” said Deirdre Aaron, an attorney with Outten & Golden in New York City.”Syracuse University is committed—at all levels, across all faculty and staff positions—to providing an equitable and supportive work environment,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Operations Steve Bennett in Syracuse, N.Y. “We continue to work closely with academic leadership to ensure salaries are commensurate with every faculty member’s job responsibilities, efforts and accomplishments, regardless of gender.”We’ve gathered articles on the news from SHRM Online and other outlets.2017 Adjustments to University SalariesSyracuse University said it has been and remains committed to pay equity. A 2017 evaluation of full-time faculty salaries resulted in salary adjustments for over 150 female faculty members totaling nearly $2 million.(Syracuse University Office of the Provost)Disparity in Gender Pay Gaps for Faculty in Higher EducationWhile Syracuse University admitted no wrongdoing or liability, the disparity in gender pay gaps for faculty has been well-documented in higher education. An American Association of University Professors study showed that full-time female faculty members earn nearly 20 percent less than men. The Eos Foundation and American Association of University Women noted that despite women comprising a majority of positions in higher education, most of the top earners are men.(University Business)Review Pay EquityAs business leaders focus on closing the gender pay gap and states enact broader laws covering fair pay for more workers, HR professionals may want to review their organization’s compensation policies and practices. So what is pay equity? In general, it means compensating employees the same when they perform the same or similar job duties, while accounting for other factors, such as their experience level, job performance and tenure with the employer, explained Karen Denney, an attorney with Haynes and Boone in Fort Worth, Texas. (HR Magazine)State Law Restrictions on Asking About Prior SalariesAt least 48 states have separate laws addressing pay equity in the workplace. These laws typically provide much greater protections for employees than the Federal Equal Pay Act, with many including a provision that restricts employers from asking about prior salary history.(SHRM Online)How to Ensure Pay Equity for People of ColorIn addition to ensuring pay equity between men and women, employers must ensure pay equity for people of color. For every $1 paid to white men, Black men earn 88 cents and Black women receive 76 cents, according to a recent survey by PayScale, a U.S. compensation data and software company. Even when the data is adjusted to account for similar education and experience levels, Black men receive 98 cents and Black women receive 97 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Over a lifetime, these differences add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.(HR Magazine) …

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Ikea Stores Ban Asking Job Candidates About Past Salary

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Ikea Stores Ban Asking Job Candidates About Past Salary

​Ingka Group, the Netherlands-based company that operates the majority of Ikea stores worldwide, implemented a policy earlier this month eliminating salary history queries from the recruiting process.The affected Ikea stores will base salary offers on job-specific experience and an assessment of competencies, within a specified salary range. The decision was made to ensure fairness and avoid replicating pay gaps by previous employers. The decision will be implemented in 390 stores and affect up to approximately 160,000 employees. We’ve rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other sources to provide context.House Passes Paycheck Fairness ActOn April 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would, among other provisions, prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or relying on salary history to set compensation.(SHRM Online)Guidelines on Interview and Employment Application QuestionsEmployers must be knowledgeable about lawful and unlawful interview and application questions to ensure that the organization’s employment application form and interview questions are compliant.(SHRM Online)List of Jurisdictions Banning Salary History QueriesThere are currently 21 states and 21 localities that have outlawed pay history questions.(HR Dive)Do Salary-History Bans Help or Hurt Women?A growing number of U.S. cities, states and employers have adopted policies to keep job applicants from being asked to divulge their salary histories. Whether salary-question bans produce the intended results, however, or wind up backfiring or doing little for those they’re designed to help remains to be seen.(SHRM Online)Most Employers Open to Negotiating Salary, Not BenefitsThe majority of employers are open to negotiating salary for some or all positions once a job offer has been made, but that openness does not extend to bonuses and benefits, according to recent research.(SHRM Online) …

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