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State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

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Sen. Kushner Votes to Update Equal Pay for Equal Work Law

HARTFORD – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) led state Senate passage of a bill that updates Connecticut’s existing “Equal Pay for Equal Work” law, closing a loophole that could have allowed employers to count pregnancy or a protected family and medical leave against an employee’s seniority if that employer uses a seniority system to defend its wage differences.

Senate Bill 765, “An Act Ensuring Fair and Equal Pay for Equal Work,” passed the Senate on a bipartisan 34-2 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“We’ve worked hard over the years in Connecticut to try and create a more equitable workplace when it comes to men and women and their pay and benefits. This minor change to the law will help ensure that fairness continues if a pay discrimination lawsuit makes its way into the court system for review,” Sen. Kushner said.

SB 765 essentially changes how an employer can defend itself in gender wage discrimination lawsuits.

Under existing state law, employers can defend themselves in wage discrimination lawsuits by showing that their differences in pay are based on seniority or certain other factors (e.g., job-related education or experience). The bill prohibits employers from counting certain types of leave against an employee’s seniority if the employer uses a seniority system to defend its wage differences.

Existing statute allows an employer to defend itself against a wage discrimination by showing that it had eliminated wage differentials for the plaintiff and had completed an equal pay analysis of its pay practices within three years before the suit was filed.

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