Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

As the Dust Settles: Watered-Down Non-Compete Bill Passes; Social Media Password Bill Fails

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Featured, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

The dust is still settling from the mad dash that is the end of the Connecticut General Assembly session. 

I’ll have more in the upcoming days as events warrant, but here’s a quick look at a few items that I’ve been tracking in recent weeks. 

  • A bill (HB 6658) restricting the use of non-compete agreements passed last night. But it is a watered-down version of the previous bill.    As summarized by the OLR: “This bill voids certain noncompete agreements between an employer and an employee made, renewed, or extended on or after October 1, 2013, unless before entering into the agreement, the employer provides the employee with (1) a written copy of the agreement and (2) at least seven days, and more if reasonable, to consider the merits of entering into the agreement.” 

    The important caveat is that this applies only when ”(1) an employer is acquired by or merges with another employer and (2) as a result of the acquisition or merger, an employee’s continued employment is conditioned on the employee entering into a noncompete agreement.”  

    The bill allows an employee to waive his or her right to have a noncompete agreement rendered void pursuant to the bill by signing a separate document that describes the right he or she is waiving before entering into the agreement.If signed by the governor, it would become effective October 1, 2013.  For employers with mergers or acquisitions, this should be added to any due diligence checklist and any list of closing documents to be considered. 

  •  Two bills — to amend the state’s CHRO-related statutes, and to amend the paid sick leave bill to “fix” certain items did not receive a final vote (here and here) before the session ended. Passage had been expected in recent days, but I’ve heard unconfirmed reports of illnesses and last-minute opposition that did in the bills. Regardless of the reasons, those bills did not pass in their native form. 
  • A bill that would restrict employers from asking for the social media passwords of their employees also did not receive a final vote
  • A bill (HB 6553) to study  the ”feasibility of establishing an insurance program to provide short-term benefits to workers who are unable to work due to (1) pregnancy or the birth of a child, (2) a non-work-related illness or injury, or (3) the need to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent” did pass the General Assembly. I’ve recapped the bill previously
  • A bill that would have significantly expanded the free speech rights of private-sector employees failed to receive final passage before the session ended

Note: This is by no means a complete list of bills under consideration or that have passed; it’s just a preliminary run through of some of the bills I had been following.   Be sure to check with your local counsel or the CBIA if there is a particular bill that you have been following or concerned about.