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Legislative Update on Proposed Labor and Employment Bills Affecting Connecticut Employers

As we move deeper into the 2019 legislative season, the Connecticut General Assembly is considering several proposed bills in the state House and Senate that—if enacted—would affect employers in significant ways. With a substantial Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate—and a newly elected Democratic governor—there is a good chance that several employee-friendly bills will pass this year, including a new paid family and medical leave program. Below is an overview of the more meaningful bills that were recently reported out of the Labor and Public Employees Committee for review and action by the full Connecticut House and Senate.

Minimum Wages Rising In Connecticut? Not Now, But Some Employers Are Voluntarily Increasing Wages

In Connecticut, minimum wage is currently $10.10 an hour. However, localities across the country, including Connecticut’s neighbor New York City, have rapidly been increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. In fact, this has been a movement sweeping the nation for years. Taking notice, employers in Connecticut are beginning to voluntarily take action, unprompted by the legislature, to increase their minimum wage.

CT Employers: When Is The Last Time You Conducted Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training?

Connecticut employers with 50 or more employees have long been required to provide supervisors with sexual harassment training. Employers, however, often get tripped up on the timing of the training when an employee is promoted to a supervisory position. This is especially true in the first quarter of the year when promotions often take effect.

“You Wrote Me Up? I’m Writing You Up!” CT Employers – Don’t Forget To Let Employees Submit A Written Objection To Disciplinary Actions, Evaluations And Notices Of Termination

Even though the law in Connecticut has been on the books for over 5 years, we still come across employers who forget to tell their employees they have the opportunity to respond to write-ups, performance evaluations and/or notices of termination. Not only must employees have the opportunity to respond, they must be advised in writing of this right. Employers, consider this article your reminder!

CT Employers: As Of January 1, You Cannot Ask Applicants About Their Prior Salary!

Back in May, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity.” The law is part of the “Equal Pay” movement which has been sweeping the country aiming to bridge the gap between the genders and their respective paychecks. Its effective date is officially upon us.

Labor and Employment Law Changes Connecticut Saw in 2018 (And Some We Might See in 2019)

With strong initiatives making strides across the country like the #MeToo and Equal Pay movements, state and federal legislatures made some big changes in 2018. Connecticut was no exception. Lawmakers in Connecticut made several attempts to pass such progressive laws this year – some panned out, others didn’t. Below is a recap of what’s definitely changing in the new year and what hasn’t changed… yet.

Connecticut Employers are Banned from Asking Applicants' Salary History Effective January 1, 2019

Executive Summary: As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut employers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s prior salary history. The new law, Public Act No. 18-8, An Act Concerning Pay Equity (the “Act”), is aimed at closing the gender wage gap. Statistics still show that women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men to perform the same work. Many speculate that the gap persists, in part, because employers often base salary for new hires on their salary at their previous job. As a result, the continuation of lower pay rates for women persists, and the wage gap continues unabated. This law and similar laws prohibiting asking about prior salary are an effort to close the gap between what men and women earn.

Connecticut Court Rules in Favor of Medical Marijuana User in Discrimination Case

A recent U.S. district court decision in Connecticut shows that drug testing applicants and employees in jurisdictions that authorize the use of legalized medical marijuana may present challenges. On September 5, 2018, Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut issued an opinion granting a motion for summary judgment on an employment discrimination claim brought on the basis of a person’s use of medical marijuana as authorized by Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA).

Connecticut’s Pay Equity Law Prohibits Salary History Inquiries

As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut employers are prohibited from inquiring about prospective employees’ wage or salary histories. Connecticut’s new pay equity law is intended to promote equality in pay and close the wage gap. Under the new law, employers—defined as entities having “one or more employees”—are also prohibited from using a third party to inquire about any applicant’s wage or salary history. Employers may still inquire about the components of an applicant’s compensation structure—for example, retirement benefits or stock option plans—but they may not inquire about the value of any individual component.

In Review: 2017-18 Labor And Employment Decisions From Connecticut Supreme Court

The 2017-2018 Connecticut Supreme Court term was active in the area of labor and employment, with several important decisions.