Several States Consider Pay Transparency, Pay Equity Laws
Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor
April 3, 2023
As employers in California, Washington and New York deal with the implications of recently enacted pay transparency laws, organizations elsewhere may not be far behind. At least eight states are currently considering legislative proposals that would require employers to disclose pay ranges, restrict employers from inquiring about prior salary history, or strengthen existing equal pay laws.
Connecticut already requires employers to disclose the pay range for a position to an applicant upon request or before making an offer of compensation, whichever comes first. However, HB 6273, currently under consideration, would require employers in the state to include a pay range and general description of benefits in any internal or external job posting.
If passed, the law would take effect October 1, 2023, and would apply to any job, promotion or transfer opportunity that is either:
- Performed in Connecticut; or
- Performed remotely outside the state but reporting to a Connecticut-based supervisor, office or other worksite.
H.B. 745 would make a number of changes to the state's equal pay law, including adding a number of additional protected characteristics and modifying the way in which an employer could justify pay differentials based on non-discriminatory factors. Employers also would be required to include pay ranges in all job listings and disclose such ranges to applicants and employees.
Unlike existing pay transparency laws - which generally require employers to publish a pay scale based on a good faith estimate at the time of posting but do not ultimately require the employer to adhere to the posted salary - the proposed Hawaii law would require covered employers to select a salary for a new employee within the posted range or republish the posting with an amended range.
Introduced February 16, the Massachusetts bill would apply to employers with 15 or more employees in Massachusetts. Covered employers would be required to include a pay range within any advertisement or job posting seeking candidates for a role. Employees would also be entitled to learn pay ranges for their current jobs upon request.
New Jersey's proposed law would apply to any employer operating in the state with 10 or more employees. Covered employers would be required to disclose the following information in any job posting, whether controlled by the employer or on a third-party platform:
- Minimum and maximum salary or hourly wage;
- Any supplemental compensation available;
- A description of benefits; and
- A description of retirement plans offered through the employer.
If passed in its current form, the law would take effect immediately. Violations would be punishable by civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
Pennsylvania state senator Amanda Cappelletti announced on March 14 that she would soon reintroduce a bill requiring job postings to contain pay ranges.
H. 116, introduced in January, would ban salary history inquiries and require employers to disclose the pay scale for a position to applicants and current employees who hold that position. In addition, employers with 10 or more employees would be required to submit compensation data broken down by gender and race to the state Department of Labor, which would publish the information online.
Virginia's S.B. 1136, which passed the state Senate in February, would ban salary history inquiries and require employers to provide a pay range to a prospective employee upon request and prior to discussing compensation. Violations would be punishable by paying damages to affected employees, attorney fees and costs, and civil penalties.
The proposed Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan Fair Pay Act would require employers in the state to provide a pay range and description of benefits and other compensation to an applicant upon request. The bill also includes provisions banning employers from inquiring into an applicant's salary history before making an initial offer of compensation.