Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 5, 2015 Committee Meeting

LR-CT-State-Capital-BldgAs we promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly.  The following is an update as to where we stand on labor and employment related legislation.

At its February 5, 2015 meeting, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted to raise the following “concepts” as bills for further consideration:

AN ACT CONCERNING COOPERATIVE HEALTHCARE ARRANGEMENTS

AN ACT CONCERNING PROBATE COURT EMPLOYEES AND THE RIGHT TO COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN

AN ACT CONCERNING THE INCLUSION OF THE HISTORY OF THE WORKER IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL SERVICE CONTRACTORS

AN ACT CONCERNING WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS

AN ACT CONCERNING HAZARDOUS DUTY AND CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS STAFF

AN ACT CONCERNING NEUTRALITY IN UNION DRIVES FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT RECEIVE GRANTS FROM THE STATE

AN ACT EXPANDING PAID SICK LEAVE

AN ACT CONCERNING WAGES FOR WORKERS EMPLOYED BY LARGE CORPORATIONS

AN ACT CONDUCTING A STUDY OF THE UNIONIZATION OF COLLEGE ATHLETES

AN ACT CONCERNING THE UNIONIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL WORKERS, NON-PARTISAN LEGISLATIVE MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES AND STATE EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER EMPLOYEES

AN ACT CONCERNING BARBERSHOPS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

AN ACT ALLOWING EMPLOYERS TO PAY WAGES USING PAYROLL CARDS

AN ACT CONCERNING AN EMPLOYER’S FAILURE TO PAY WAGES

AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEE LIENS AGAINST EMPLOYERS FOR UNPAID WAGES

AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH CARE DATA REPORTING

AN ACT CONCERNING MANAGERS IN STATE SERVICE

AN ACT CONCERNING INJURED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND SICK LEAVE BENEFITS

AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

AN ACT CONCERNING GRADUATE TEACHING AND RESEARCH ASSISTANTS, HEALTH BENEFITS AND STUDENT FEES

AN ACT CONCERNING LARGE CORPORATIONS RECEIVING STATE ASSISTANCE AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

AN ACT INCREASING THE CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATING A STOP WORK ORDER

AN ACT CONCERNING GENERAL CONTRACTOR LIABILITY FOR WAGES AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR AND CONFORMING CHANGES TO STATUTES AFFECTING THE LABOR DEPARTMENT AND THE STEP-UP PROGRAM

AN ACT CONCERNING VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND AMBULANCE COMPANIES AND THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYER UNDER THE CONNECTICUT OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT

AN ACT UPDATING THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CLINIC STATUTES

AN ACT CONCERNING THE WILFUL FAILURE OF AN EMPLOYER TO DECLARE THE PAYMENT OF WAGES ON PAYROLL RECORDS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PURPOSES

AN ACT REQUIRING THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER TO OFFER GROUP COUNSELLING ON RETIREMENT BENEFITS

AN ACT CONCERNING POLICE OFFICERS AND OVERTIME PAY

AN ACT CONCERNING REEMPLOYMENT AND THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

Please note: The decision to draft these items up for consideration is not a sign that these bills will actually be passed by the Committee.

The Committee voted to draft the following bills as committee bills:

Proposed S.B. No. 426 AN ACT PROTECTING EMPLOYEE ONLINE PRIVACY. (LAB)

Proposed S.B. No. 439 AN ACT CONCERNING HAZARDOUS DUTY RETIREMENT FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES. (LAB)

These topics have been percolated though the legislature over the last few years, and it is not surprise that these bills will be meriting consideration by the Committee.     

The Committee voted to reserve for a public hearing numerous bills concerning the “prevailing wage.”  Here are the specific prevailing wage bills:

1. Proposed S.B. No. 113 AN ACT EXEMPTING CERTAIN MUNICIPAL PROJECTS FROM PREVAILING WAGE REQUIREMENTS. (PD,LAB)

2. Proposed S.B. No. 114 AN ACT INCREASING THE PREVAILING WAGE THRESHOLD FOR MUNICIPAL PROJECTS. (PD,LAB)

3. Proposed S.B. No. 180 AN ACT CONCERNING AN INCREASE TO THE PREVAILING WAGE LAWS FOR BOTH NEW CONSTRUCTION AND REMODELING. (LAB)

4. Proposed S.B. No. 181 AN ACT ALTERING THE CURRENT PREVAILING WAGE THRESHOLDS. (LAB)

5. Proposed S.B. No. 182 AN ACT REPEALING THE PREVAILING WAGE LAWS. (LAB)

6. Proposed H.B. No. 5613 AN ACT CONCERNING AN INCREASE IN THE PREVAILING WAGE THRESHOLDS. (LAB)

7. Proposed H.B. No. 6250 AN ACT CONCERNING PRIVATE CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS AND THE PREVAILING WAGE STANDARD. (LAB)

8. Proposed H.B. No. 6251 AN ACT DOUBLING THE PREVAILING WAGE THRESHOLDS. (LAB)

9. Proposed H.B. No. 6650 AN ACT INCREASING THE THRESHOLD AMOUNTS REQUIRING PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS TO ABIDE BY THE PREVAILING WAGE LAWS. (LAB)

10. Proposed H.B. No. 6666 AN ACT INCREASING AND INDEXING THE PREVAILING WAGE THRESHOLDS. (LAB)

The hearing on the prevailing wage bills will take place on February 24th at 6:00 PM at the Middletown City Hall.

However, the Committee also voted to reserve for a public hearing the following unemployment compensation-related proposed legislation:

1. Proposed S.B. No. 183 AN ACT CONCERNING DUAL EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ELIGIBILITY. (LAB)

2. Proposed S.B. No. 434 AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION CALCULATIONS. (LAB)

3. Proposed S.B. No. 436 AN ACT CONCERNING THE WAITING WEEK AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

4. Proposed S.B. No. 437 AN ACT CONCERNING MINIMUM EARNINGS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

5. Proposed S.B. No. 442 AN ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM EARNINGS NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

6. Proposed S.B. No. 447 AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND ELIGIBILITY FOR EXTENDED BENEFITS. (LAB)

7. Proposed H.B. No. 5608 AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE INFORMATION DATA EXCHANGE SYSTEM. (LAB)

8. Proposed H.B. No. 5610 AN ACT CONCERNING LABOR DEPARTMENT OVERSIGHT. (LAB)

9. Proposed H.B. No. 5611 AN ACT CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

10. Proposed H.B. No. 5612 AN ACT ELIMINATING ASSESSMENTS PAID BY EMPLOYERS TO SATISFY THE INTEREST DUE ON ADVANCES FROM THE FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT ACCOUNT. (LAB)

11. Proposed H.B. No. 5614 AN ACT CREATING A PILOT PROGRAM TO INVESTIGATE FRAUDULENT UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS. (LAB)

12. Proposed H.B. No. 5850 AN ACT CONCERNING AN INDIVIDUAL’S ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS. (LAB)

13. Proposed H.B. No. 5851 AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION REFORM. (LAB)

14. Proposed H.B. No. 5857 AN ACT CONCERNING INTEREST DUE ON ADVANCES FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADVANCE FUND. (LAB)

15. Proposed H.B. No. 5861 AN ACT CONCERNING THE LABOR DEPARTMENT AND OVERPAYMENTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS. (LAB)

16. Proposed H.B. No. 5864 AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ELIGIBILITY AND TIME-SPECIFIC WORK ASSIGNMENTS. (LAB)

17. Proposed H.B. No. 5867 AN ACT CONCERNING INTEREST DUE ON ADVANCES FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADVANCE FUND. (LAB)

18. Proposed H.B. No. 5869 AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL EMPLOYERS, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND THE APPEALS PROCESS. (LAB)

19. Proposed H.B. No. 5872 AN ACT CONCERNING MONTHLY APPEARANCES AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE. (LAB)

20. Proposed H.B. No. 5873 AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE INFORMATION DATA EXCHANGE SYSTEM. (LAB)

21. Proposed H.B. No. 5874 AN ACT PREVENTING THE LABOR DEPARTMENT FROM UNILATERALLY INSTITUTING UNEMPLOYMENT TAX INCREASES. (LAB)

22. Proposed H.B. No. 6244 AN ACT CONCERNING PARENTS AND GUARDIANS OF CRIME VICTIMS AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

23. Proposed H.B. No. 6565 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES. (LAB)

However, the Committee also voted to reserve for a public hearing the following employment-related proposed legislation:

1. Proposed S.B. No. 383 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION THRESHOLDS FOR PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS. (GAE,LAB)

2. Proposed S.B. No. 427 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AWARDS AND ATTORNEY FEES. (LAB)

3. Proposed S.B. No. 428 AN ACT PROTECTING INTERNS FROM WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION. (LAB)

4. Proposed S.B. No. 431 AN ACT CONCERNING FOREIGN WORKER RECRUITMENT FEES. (LAB)

5. Proposed S.B. No. 433 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SETTLEMENTS AND INSURERS. (LAB)

6. Proposed S.B. No. 435 AN ACT PROHIBITING NONDISPARAGEMENT CLAUSES IN PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SEPARATION AGREEMENTS. (LAB)

7. Proposed S.B. No. 440 AN ACT CONCERNING STATE EMPLOYEES AND THE TRANSFER OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS. (LAB)

8. Proposed S.B. No. 441 AN ACT CONCERNING CREDIT IN THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR ALL PRIOR STATE SERVICE. (LAB)

9. Proposed S.B. No. 444 AN ACT CONCERNING SECRETARIES IN STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES. (LAB)

10. Proposed S.B. No. 445 AN ACT CONCERNING A PLAN FOR THE CONNECTICORPS PROGRAM. (LAB)

11. Proposed S.B. No. 446 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM “DOMESTIC WORKER”. (LAB)

12. Proposed S.B. No. 830 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PROGRAM TO ASSIST MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES IN OBTAINING PERFORMANCE BONDS ON CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS. (LAB)

13. Proposed H.B. No. 5848 AN ACT CONCERNING WOMEN RE-ENTERING THE WORKFORCE. (LAB)

14. Proposed H.B. No. 5852 AN ACT CONCERNING WAGE EXECUTION PROCEDURES. (LAB)

15. Proposed H.B. No. 5854 AN ACT CONCERNING THANKSGIVING AND DOUBLE OVERTIME WAGES. (LAB)

16. Proposed H.B. No. 5856 AN ACT PERMITTING EMPLOYERS TO PURCHASE INDEMNITY INSURANCE POLICIES TO SATISFY COLLATERAL OBLIGATIONS. (LAB)

17. Proposed H.B. No. 5858 AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING TO THE CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT SECURITY BOARD. (LAB)

18. Proposed H.B. No. 5860 AN ACT RECOGNIZING PROBATE COURT EMPLOYEES AS STATE EMPLOYEES. (LAB)

19. Proposed H.B. No. 5863 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE. (LAB)

20. Proposed H.B. No. 5865 AN ACT CONCERNING CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS AND GRATUITIES. (LAB)

21. Proposed H.B. No. 5871 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL. (LAB)

22. Proposed H.B. No. 5875 AN ACT CLARIFYING AND UPDATING THE MECHANISM BY WHICH WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS ARE PAID UPON AN EMPLOYEE’S DEATH. (LAB)

23. Proposed H.B. No. 5876 AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTIES ASSESSED AGAINST LABOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT FAIL TO FILE AN ANNUAL REPORT. (LAB)

24. Proposed H.B. No. 6246 AN ACT CONCERNING LABOR AGREEMENTS AND THE GOVERNING BODIES OF MUNICIPALITIES. (LAB)

25. Proposed H.B. No. 6249 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TAX CREDIT PROGRAM FOR EMPLOYERS WHO OFFER ON-SITE CHILD DAY CARE OPTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES. (LAB)

26. Proposed H.B. No. 6566 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYERS WHO PROVIDE PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THE LEAVE REQUIRED BY LAW. (LAB)

As we indicated previously, the 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on June 3, 2015.  The deadline for the Labor and Public Employees Committee to approve and “forward” bills out of Committee is March 17, 2015. Bills affecting labor and employment issues may also emerge from other committees (such as the Judiciary Committee). Stay tuned.