Latest Developments From The Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Speaks

LR-Calculator-1On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee  voted favorably on a plethora of bills and advanced them out of committee. Among the most noteworthy were: 1) a bill that would require certain “large” employers to pay a quarterly fee to the Department of Labor for each employee that receives less than $15/ hour in wages, 2) a bill that would  disqualify from unemployment compensation benefits employees discharged or suspended because they lost their operators’ license as a result of failing a drug or alcohol test while off duty, 3) a bill that would ban employers from prohibiting an employee from disclosing or discussing the amount of his or her wages with another employee, 4) a bill that would institute a minimum work week of thirty hours for individuals who perform janitorial work at certain locations, 5) a bill that would prevent employers from requiring individuals to disclose on an employment application any convictions for a nonviolent misdemeanor that have occurred more than five years prior and prevent employers from requiring individuals to disclose any criminal history until the employer has determined whether the individual is “otherwise qualified” for the position, 6) a bill that would enable municipalities to group together for collective bargaining purposes, 7) a bill that would expand the current family and medical leave system so as to provide paid time off for such leave via a voluntary employee withholding program, and also make numerous other revisions to the family and medical leave act, 8) a bill concerning “employee privacy” that would prohibit employers from requiring access to employee social media passwords, 9) a bill that would require contractors working under a public works contract to make “good faith” efforts to employ a workforce comprised of not less than 25% minorities, not less than 25% state residents and not less than 6.9% women, 10) a bill that would prohibit non-disparagement clauses in public employee separation agreements, and 11) a bill that would require the payment of the prevailing wage on all construction projects that receive financial assistance from the state or any state agency.

Bills affecting labor and employment issues may also emerge from other committees (such as the Judiciary Committee).  The 2015 session of the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on June 3, 2015, so stay tuned (and let your voices be known to your legislators).

The following is the list of the bills voted out of committee:  

HB05848 AN ACT CONCERNING WOMEN RETURNING TO THE WORKFORCE.
HB05858 AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING TO THE CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT SECURITY BOARD.
HB05860 AN ACT RECOGNIZING PROBATE COURT EMPLOYEES AS STATE EMPLOYEES FOR PURPOSES OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
HB05871 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR CURRENT AND FORMER UNIFORMED MEMBERS OF PAID MUNICIPAL OR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
HB05875 AN ACT CLARIFYING THE MECHANISM BY WHICH WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS ARE PAID UPON AN EMPLOYEE’S DEATH.
HB06705 AN ACT REQUIRING THE PREVAILING WAGE BE PAID ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS THAT RECEIVE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE STATE OR ANY AGENCY OF THE STATE.
HB06706 AN ACT CONCERNING THE FILING FEE AT THE STATE BOARD OF MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION.
HB06707 AN ACT CONCERNING THE LOSS OF AN OPERATOR LICENSE DUE TO A DRUG OR ALCOHOL TESTING PROGRAM AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.
HB06787 AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXAMINATION PROCESS FOR CERTAIN CLASSES OF POSITIONS IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE.
HB06789 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYER INQUIRIES ABOUT AN EMPLOYEE’S OR PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEE’S CREDIT HISTORY.
HB06791 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ WAGES AT LARGE CORPORATIONS.
HB06792 AN ACT CONCERNING VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND AMBULANCE COMPANIES AND THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYER UNDER THE CONNECTICUT OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT.
HB06793 AN ACT CONCERNING THE WILFUL FAILURE OF AN EMPLOYER TO DECLARE THE PAYMENT OF WAGES ON PAYROLL RECORDS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PURPOSES.
HB06850 AN ACT CONCERNING PAY EQUITY AND FAIRNESS.
HB06871 AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR AND CLARIFYING CHANGES TO THE SUBSIDIZED TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM AND OTHER STATUTES AFFECTING THE LABOR DEPARTMENT.
HB06872 AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENT OF WAGES AND DEPOSITION APPEARANCES.
HB06873 AN ACT CONCERNING INJURED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND SICK LEAVE BENEFITS.
HB06874 AN ACT CONCERNING GRADUATE ASSISTANT BENEFITS.
HB06875 AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL RECORDS AND EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS.
HB06876 AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS.
HB06877 AN ACT CONCERNING A MINIMUM WORK WEEK FOR PERSONS PERFORMING JANITORIAL WORK.
HB06878 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LIABILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING SERVICES FROM PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANTS.
HB06880 AN ACT CONCERNING LARGE CORPORATIONS RECEIVING STATE ASSISTANCE AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION.
HB06930 AN ACT CONCERNING REGIONAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
HB06932 AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE.
HB06935 AN ACT CONCERNING THE LABOR DEPARTMENT.
HB06936 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEE WORKING CONDITIONS.
SB00106 AN ACT CONCERNING RETALIATION AGAINST IMMIGRANT WORKERS.
SB00383 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION THRESHOLDS FOR PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS.
SB00426 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEE ONLINE PRIVACY.
SB00427 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AWARDS AND ATTORNEY FEES.
SB00428 AN ACT PROTECTING INTERNS FROM WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION.
SB00431 AN ACT CONCERNING FOREIGN WORKER RECRUITMENT.
SB00435 AN ACT PROHIBITING NONDISPARAGEMENT CLAUSES IN PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SEPARATION AGREEMENTS.
SB00439 AN ACT CONCERNING HAZARDOUS DUTY RETIREMENT FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
SB00445 AN ACT CONCERNING A PLAN FOR THE CONNECTICORPS PROGRAM.
SB00446 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM “DOMESTIC WORKER”.
SB00593 AN ACT CONCERNING SEVERE MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENT AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE.
SB00830 AN ACT CONCERNING A SURETY BOND GUARANTEE PROGRAM FOR MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES.
SB00910 AN ACT CONCERNING THE INCLUSION OF THE HISTORY OF THE WORKER IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM.
SB00911 AN ACT CONCERNING CIVIL ACTIONS TO COLLECT PAST DUE PAYMENTS TO EMPLOYEE WELFARE FUNDS.
SB00912 AN ACT INCREASING THE CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATING A STOP WORK ORDER.
SB00913 AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH CARE DATA REPORTING.
SB00914 AN ACT CONCERNING AN EMPLOYER’S FAILURE TO PAY WAGES.
SB00953 AN ACT CONCERNING LABOR PEACE.
SB00984 AN ACT CONCERNING THE UNIONIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL WORKERS, NONPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES AND STATE EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER EMPLOYEES.
SB00985 AN ACT CONCERNING BARBERSHOPS AND APPRENTICESHIPS.
SB00987 AN ACT CONCERNING OVERTIME PAY AND CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS.
SB00988 AN ACT UPDATING THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CLINICS STATUTES.
SB00989 AN ACT CONCERNING REEMPLOYMENT AND THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM.
SB01034 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEE WAGES.
SB01035 AN ACT CONCERNING BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE.
SB01036 AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.
SB01038 AN ACT ALLOWING FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLDS TO BE EMPLOYED AS REFEREES, UMPIRES AND OFFICIALS OF YOUTH ATHLETIC PROGRAMS.
SB01039 AN ACT CONCERNING GENERAL CONTRACTOR LIABILITY FOR WAGES AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION.