I realize this blog has been a little top heavy of late with legislative developments, but it always seems that a whole year’s worth of developments occur within a 2-3 week period at the end of the short General Assembly session. With this year’s session scheduled to close at the end of the day on Wednesday, the developments are fast and furious. The court updates will return in force soon.

In the meantime, here’s the brief recap of some of the developments from the last day or two (more to follow if and when necessary):

15-Year-Old Workers

The House late today passed a bill today that reinstates the labor law permitting 15-year-olds to work in grocery stores and similar positions. I expect the Governor to sign it shortly.  I’ve covered the bill in detail, most recently yesterday.  The bill, S.B. 216, can be downloaded here.  It will become effective immediately upon signature by Gov. Rell.  It amends Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-23

Jury Duty

The provision on jury duty were amended in a few subtle ways through a bill passed by the House on Monday and expected to be signed by the Governor.

First, House Bill 5918 (download text here) allows persons who have served on jury duty in the last three years to request the opportunity to serve again even though they would otherwise be excused.  (It amends Conn. Gen. Stat. 51-217a(a) in doing so.) 

Second, the bill also provides additional protection to workers on jury duty.  Specifically, it makes it clear that "any juror-employee who has served eight hours of jury duty in any one day shall be deemed to have worked a legal day’s work as that term is used in section 31-21…and an employer shall not require the juror employee to work in excess of eight hours." 

What does this mean? In practical terms, it means that jurors cannot be required to work while they are also serving full days on jury duty.  Employees can, it appears, voluntarily work — after hours, for example — since the language prohibits requiring the employee to do so.  Because Connecticut does not have a daily overtime rule, the employee may not even be entitled to overtime for simply working in addition to jury duty.

This jury duty law will go into effect on October 1, 2008, assuming Gov. Rell signs the bill.

Child Performer Protection

The House has yet to address House Bill 5677, which would institute a whole new range of protections for children who act (or "perform").  You can download the bill here, but the lack of action on the bill so far indicates that time may run out on this provision. 

Whistleblower Protection

S.B. 335, which expands the protection of state whistleblowers has yet to be considered by the House. I looked at Senate Bill 335 in an earlier post.