Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed the pay equity bill into law within the last hour.
This new law prohibits employers from asking about an employee's wage and salary history during the job interview process.
The law also helps secure equal pay for equal work for women in the workplace.
It will take effect in 2019 and was approved with only five lawmakers against the bill.
In a statement released by the governor’s office is says that “numerous studies have found that women are paid less in nearly every occupation, at every age, and at all educational levels. In Connecticut, it has been found that women are paid on average 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.”
“Even as they work harder and harder, the pay gap between men and women who are doing the same job continues to grow – particularly among women of color, and that is completely unacceptable,” Governor Malloy said. “Among other causes, this inequity is perpetuated by the practice of asking prospective employees for their salary history before an offer of employment is put on the table, which disproportionately ensures that women who were underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid throughout their careers, creating a cycle and causing harm.”
Miller Foods in Avon is a family business. It started as a farm and has evolved into a food distributor and a pet food business.
"Of course, we support women in the workforce, but mostly we support equality in the workplace," said Capri Frank, owner of Miller Foods.
Frank said when she hires someone, she doesn't ask what they were paid at other jobs and doesn't feel anyone should.
The new bill forbids companies from asking about previous salaries.
"Women who are underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid throughout their careers, creating a cycle of poverty," said Malloy.
Richard Hollant is a business owner.
"It's about compensating folks based on what they are going to bring to the organization, not focused on other organization's pay structure," said Hollant.
State Representative Derek Slap said women in CT lose half a million dollars a year based on gender.
Slap's two daughters testified at the capitol this year.
"I always tell them they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, but I also have to warn them the chances are they will likely be underpaid," said Slap.
"I had no idea women weren't paid as much as men. I was shocked when he told me," said 13-year-old Maggie Slap.
The bill originally had an option for companies to look at salaries they pay and compare women and men. That part of the bill was taken out.
CT is one of 5 states with pay equity, this includes neighboring Massachusetts and New York City.
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