Imagine sitting in your lunchroom at work and hearing coworkers talking openly about your salary–saying it’s too much for what you do.

Imagine also that they found out about your salary from an employee in the human resources department–the very people you’re supposed to be able to trust with your personal information.  And since they have access to every detail of your work history and personal information, what else are they sharing?

If you think your employer could stop them from divulging this information, you would be wrong—under legislative proposal HB 6850.

The bill seeks to block employers from imposing or enforcing any rule that forbids their employees from discussing and/or distributing other employees' confidential wage information in the workplace without the employees' consent.

Under HB 6850, any employer attempting to discipline an employee engaging in this conduct could find itself in court and paying damages to the employee. 

Called “An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness,” the bill is being promoted under the notion that more transparency in the workplace about wages will help eliminate any gender pay gap. 

The reality, however, is that HB 6850 does little to address any real or perceived pay gap between men and women.

Instead, it creates the possibility of serious problems in the workplace regardless of an individual’s gender.

What they’re missing:

What many fail to realize is that state and federal laws already make wage disparities based on gender illegal.

This bill also conflicts with state personnel files law that protects employees’ right of privacy over their personnel information, including their wage rates.

HB 6850 would take away that privacy and permit others to access and share their confidential wage information, without permission and without consequence.

Lawmakers should promote legislation that will help Connecticut’s job creators create more opportunities for more people—not adopt proposals that will make it harder to do business in the state.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 | | @egjede