On Sept. 10, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), issued a Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13665, which prohibits federal contractors from discharging or discriminating against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their own compensation or the compensation of another employee or applicant.
This rule change is intended to promote the concept of "pay transparency" and counter what some have called a workplace culture of secrecy that prevents individuals from finding out if they are being discriminated against in terms of pay.
This Final Rule takes effect Jan. 11, 2016, by which date employers holding federal contracts or subcontracts must post a special supplement to the "EEO Is the Law" poster.
Trust CBIA for Meeting Your Posting Obligations
Don't waste time hunting around. CBIA has the EEO Supplement and any other posters you need to comply with state and federal posting requirements. Plus, all orders include a chart that details posting requirements by company type.
Connecticut Chimes In
Not to be outdone, the Connecticut General Assembly passed its own version of the new federal rule, An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness, which took effect July 1, 2015.
This new state law prohibits an employer from imposing or enforcing any rule or contract that forbids their employees from discussing and/or distributing their own or another's confidential wage information or inquiring about another employee's wages.
In other words, an employee is now free to share another employee’s confidential wage information if that other employee had already voluntarily disclosed that information.
The Connecticut law contains no posting requirement, and claimed violations of the law must be filed in court, not administratively with the labor department.
The law is not clear as to whether the voluntary disclosure of one's wages need only be directed to one person, or if the disclosure must indicate that the wage information may also be shared with anyone or everyone else, i.e., is fair game for public discussion.
In spite of this ambiguity, it still seems permissible for employers to remind employees that if they want their pay to remain a personal, private matter, they should avoid actions or statements suggesting they are OK with public discussion of their wages in the workplace.