Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

May 27, 2021

Sen. Kushner Leads Final Approval to Bill to Disclose Salary Ranges and Help Close the Wage Gap

HARTFORD – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) this evening voted to give final approval to a bill that requires employers to provide both job applicants and their own employees with the wage ranges of their positions – a practice which could help close the wage gap in Connecticut, where women earn an average 84 cents (or less) for every dollar a man makes for comparable work.

House Bill 6380, “AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF SALARY RANGE FOR A VACANT POSITION,” was approved by the Senate on a 20-14 vote and now heads to Governor Lamont for his signature of the bill into law. The bill had previously passed the House of Representatives and the Judiciary and Labor and Public Employees committees on purely partisan votes, with Republicans vehemently opposed to the bill.

“When I entered the workforce nearly 50 years ago, it was clear to me that women were treated unfairly, especially when it came to wages,” said Sen. Kushner. “We knew then that ‘salary secrecy’ kept women in the dark and made it easier to pay us less than our male counterparts. For years, we have been incrementally leveling the playing field. This bill is the next step forward when employees know a range of what the employer is willing to pay. They are much more likely to ask for a fair wage. What could possibly be wrong with that?”

HB 6380 not only requires the disclosure of salary ranges for a position, it also broadens the standard used to determine whether an employer is discriminating in the amount of compensation it pays to an employee based on sex (i.e., gender wage discrimination), and it allows job applicants and employees to bring a lawsuit to redress violations within two years.

At the February public hearing on the bill, a variety of advocates spoke of the need for salary range disclosures.

“Ensuring both salary range transparency and comparable pay for comparable work can positively impact the wage gap,” testified Liza Andrews, Director of Public Policy & Communications for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Studies show that when job applicants are clearly informed about the context for negotiations – including the range and types of compensation and benefits available – women are more successful at salary negotiation, which increases their earnings and closes the wage gap.”

“When an employer asks a job applicant what his or her salary expectations are without providing the applicant any information about the pay for the position, women and people of color lose out. Studies show that women often ask for less when they negotiate than men, even when the women applicants are otherwise equally qualified,” testified Andrea Johnson, Director of State Policy, Workplace Justice & Cross-Cutting Initiatives for the National Women’s Law Center. “Since employers tend to anchor salary negotiations, consciously or subconsciously, on the job applicant’s first request, providing applicants with a salary range that the employer is willing to pay helps level the negotiating playing field and reduces gender and racial wage gaps.”

“The wage gap begins with a woman’s first job after college and adds up over time,” testified Susan Eastwood, a board member of Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut. “These inequities in pay have consequences for Connecticut families, and as a whole they have national impacts. Women’s earnings are critical to economic growth: if women received equal pay, the United States economy would produce additional income of $512.6 billion.”

If signed into law, the bill would take effect beginning October 1.