This 2015 update reflects the revisions the Connecticut Legislature passed to the law (eff. 01/01/15) and the associated revisions the Connecticut Department of Labor made to its Guidance.
Articles about Connecticut Labor and Employment Law.
While employers frequently attempt to restrict discussion among employees regarding pay, recent legislation in Connecticut prohibits employers from disciplining or otherwise retaliating against employees who discuss wage information.
On June 22, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute that extends workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation protection to unpaid interns. Historically, it was unclear whether an individual working as an unpaid intern was protected from workplace discrimination or harassment. As a result of the enactment of Public Act 15-56, on October 1, 2015, unpaid interns in Connecticut will be provided the same protections as employees covered by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”).
On June 23, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute that imposes double damages on employers who fail to pay an employee minimum wage or overtime. With one exception, the new law requires a court to award double damages plus court costs and attorney’s fees if it finds that an employer has (1) failed to pay an employee’s wages, accrued fringe benefits, or arbitration award or (2) failed to meet the law’s requirements for an employee’s minimum wage or overtime rates.
Beginning October 1, 2015, companies that experience a data breach affecting a Connecticut resident must offer that individual free identity-theft prevention services and, if applicable, identity theft mitigation services for at least one year. The breach must include the resident’s name and Social Security number (SSN).
Following other states that have toughened their data breach notification laws, Connecticut is about to amend its law to require that businesses provide one year of identity-theft protection for persons affected by a data breach, among other things.
On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job applicants. Connecticut is the twentieth state to enact such legislation. Connecticut’s law generally is in line with similar state laws, having no outlier provisions that could pose a particular compliance challenge for multistate employers.
Connecticut has become the 21st state to enact a law limiting an employer’s ability to access the personal social media accounts of job applicants and employees. The new law (Public Act 15-6), signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on May 19, 2015, will become effective on October 1, 2015, and applies to all private and public employers, regardless of size.
The Connecticut Paid Sick Leave legislation has been amended (1) to allow employers to determine the 50-employee applicability threshold in the same manner as under the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act, (2) to allow accrual of paid sick leave hours on any annual basis, not just a calendar year, and (3) to expand slightly the list of “service worker” titles that are the beneficiaries of the law.
Connecticut recently made several important revisions to its paid sick leave law in response to requests by businesses for clarification of the law’s requirements. On June 6, 2014, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law an amendment to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Act (Act) that: 1) changes the method for determining if an employer is exempt from providing paid sick leave; 2) changes the time-frame for accruing paid sick leave and 3) adds radiologic technicians to the employees covered by the Act. The amendment, Public Act 14-128, will take effect on January 1, 2015.
Connecticut recently became the first state in the country to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by the year 2017, the same rate that President Barack Obama has been seeking for the federal minimum wage. Connecticut lawmakers passed the historic bill on March 26, 2014, and it was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy the following day. Connecticut had just voted to increase the minimum wage last year, to its current level of $8.70 per hour.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation to increase Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage incrementally to $10.10 over the next three years. The new maximum rate will become effective January 1, 2017.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation to increase Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage over two years by $.75 to $9.00 by January 1, 2015.
On Friday, July 12, 2013, Connecticut’s Governor Dannel P. Malloy vetoed a bill that would have restricted the use of non-compete agreements in the context of mergers and acquisitions. The proposed bill, “An Act Concerning Employer Use of Noncompete Agreements,” Public Act No. 13-309 (the Act), would have voided non-compete agreements entered into, renewed, or extended when the agreement followed an acquisition or merger unless the employer provided the employee with a “reasonable period of time” (at least seven calendar days) to consider the non-compete agreement.
The Connecticut Personnel Files Act gives employees in the state the right to inspect their personnel files. Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law significant amendments to the Act that become effective October 1, 2013. Senate Bill 910 creates a distinction between current and former employees and expedites the time and manner in which both current and former employees are allowed access to their personnel files. Additionally, written disciplinary action carries with it added requirements. Significant changes are discussed below.