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COVID-19: Connecticut Governor Implements Mandatory Safe Workplace Rules

On April 7, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7V. It is the governor’s most recent executive order designed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut Imposes ‘Safe Workplace’ Rules for Essential Businesses

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) have issued new “legally binding” rules for employers deemed “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut Broadly Mandates Telecommuting, Restricts Operations of Non-Essential Businesses

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut has directed all businesses to use telecommuting “to the maximum extent possible.”

Connecticut Update: State Issues Guidance Regarding What Businesses Are Exempt From Mandatory Closure

In Connecticut’s continued battle against the spread of COVID-19, on March 20, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order 7H, which directs, in relevant part that:

Connecticut Governor Lamont Orders Closure of Additional Businesses, Reschedules Connecticut's Primary Election and Orders all Nonessential Workers to Remain Home

In the continued fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, Connecticut Governor Lamont signed another Executive Order (No. 7G) on March 19, 2019, directing the closure of nail salons, barbershops and hair salons. Governor Lamont’s newest Executive Order builds on the restrictions and closures ordered in his previously signed Executive Orders, reported in our March 17 and March 19 Alerts.

Connecticut Update: Governor Lamont Announces Additional Measures to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 epidemic, Connecticut Governor Lamont recently signed two additional Executive Orders, 7E and 7F, which implement measures in Connecticut to further combat the fast-spreading virus. Earlier this week, Governor Lamont signed Executive Orders 7C and 7D, which, as reported in our prior alert, required that all public schools, bars, restaurants, dining establishments, gyms, fitness studios, off-site betting and theaters close. They also limited gatherings to no more than 50 people.

Connecticut Governor Signs Executive Order Closing Schools and Ordering the Closure of Certain Businesses

On March 15, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7C (the “Order”) to encourage mitigation strategies to combat the pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The next day, March 16, 2020, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7D (the “Second Order”) which added further restrictions to the Order in an effort to limit Connecticut residents’ exposure to Coronavirus.

Connecticut Department of Labor Issues COVID-19 Guidance

On March 13, 2020, the Connecticut Department of Labor (CT DOL) issued guidance for workers and employers in the form of a set of frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance addresses commonly asked questions that employers and employees might have—including questions about unemployment compensation, paid sick leave, family medical leave, and Connecticut wage and hour laws—as businesses throughout Connecticut and the world navigate the unprecedented situation created by the novel coronavirus. While the CT DOL guidance is not binding law and does not enact any substantive changes to the law, it provides helpful insight into the CT DOL’s enforcement position on the laws within its purview over the coming weeks and months.

Connecticut’s New Restaurant Wage Law Codifies “80/20 Rule” for Tipped Employees

Following months of political maneuvering, including a gubernatorial veto, Connecticut has enacted compromise legislation that attempts to clarify how restaurants and other hospitality industry employers must pay workers who receive tips in customer service jobs that also require untipped work. The new law, Public Act 19-1, directs the state’s Labor Commissioner to adopt regulations codifying the so-called “80/20 rule” and to conduct random wage and hour audits of restaurants to ensure wage and hour compliance. It also restricts the right of employees to bring future class actions against restaurants for alleged violation of wage rules.

Connecticut Retains ‘80/20’ Tip Credit Rule in New Wage and Hour Legislation

The Connecticut Legislature has passed legislation mandating that the state’s minimum wage regulations incorporate the “80/20” or “20%” tip credit rule. Governor Ned Lamont is expected to sign House Bill No. 7501, “An Act Concerning the Workforce Training Needs in the State and Revisions to and Regulations of Gratuities Permitted or Applied as Part of the Minimum Fair Wage,” into law.
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