The Connecticut General Assembly is heating up and a number of employment-related bills are still alive this legislative session.
The Labor & Public Employee Committee has voted a number of bills out, meaning that they’re up for consideration by either the House or Senate, or another committee. These include:
- HB 5460 (which would prohibit so-called “captive audience” meetings by employers)
- HB 5464 (the so-called “workplace bullying” bill, which would mandate that the state keep track of “abusive conduct” by state employees at state agencies and mandate policies be developed to minimize abusive conduct)
- HB 6176 (which would increase the penalties for employers that repeatedly fail to provide personnel file access upon request)
- HB 6406 (which would require employers to give notice to employees of that employee’s entitlements and benefits and prohibit retaliation for the exercise of such rights)
- HB 6407 (which would allow employers to mandate use of direct deposit or payroll cards — and legalize payroll cards — provided certain conditions are met)
- SB 361 (which would prevent employers from using credit scores and other financial information in their hiring decisions, absent a limited exception)
- SB 798 (which would modify state wage laws to require the imposition of double damages in wage/hour cases, instead of the discretionary language in the current law)
- SB 984 (which would prohibit employers from conducting criminal background checks for prospective employees or require them to disclose their criminal background, unless otherwise required by law for the position)
Of course, whether these bills will go any further is still an open question. Nevertheless, the amount of bills still on the table means lots of legislative watching.
Besides the above bills, there are still several others also worth watching:
- The CT Mirror reported on Friday about a bill that would allegedly remove the affirmative action function from the CHRO under a reorganization.
- Senate Bill 913 — this year’s version of paid sick leave — is still very much alive and would require employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to certain employees. A report by the Economic Policy Institute (a “labor backed, left leaning group” according to the Hartford Courant). The CBIA has argued that this first-in-the-nation bill would put employers here at a competitive disadvantage.
- The Gender Identity and Expression anti-discrimination bill has been moving through the legislative process. The CT News Junkie has this notable op-ed piece about the merits of the bill. Despite a public hearing, its prospects remain uncertain.
This legislative session is far from over. Yes, the budget battle will start dominating the headlines in the upcoming weeks, but keep your eye on a number of other bills which could have a significant impact on employers in Connecticut.