So what’s going to happen after the election with various employment law proposals? Well, you’ll have to wait for the election to really see what happen at a federal level. After all, part of it still depends on who is elected to the White House and how many seats the Democrats control in Congress.
(If you’re really curious, I’ll be putting on a breakfast roundtable at my firm with my partners Peg Sheahan and Bob Mitchell on November 11, 2008 at our offices. More information about the program is available here.)
But in Connecticut, there are several issues that made an appearance in the General Assembly that are likely to be revisited. This will be particularly true if the Democrats can pick up a few seats and push their majorities to "veto-proof" levels, meaning they can override any veto by Governor Rell.
- First and foremost, the Paid Sick Leave bill raised earlier this year will no doubt be back. It died on the Senate floor last year and was not voted on. If the Democrats pick up enough seats to "veto-proof" a possible veto by Governor Rell, this might have a greater shot at passage.
- Another bill that was not brought up for a vote was the Whistleblower Protection bill. The bill would have made it easier for state workers to claim that a change in their employment status was "retaliatory". (The state already affords a good deal of protection to state whistleblowers.) The bill was spearheaded by Attorney General Blumenthal. If he announces a run for Governor after this election, could this bill be the type of bill he pushes to support his stance? Perhaps, but there also does not seem to be any particular type of group actively supporting this, unlike the paid sick leave bill.
- Two other bills — one that would have prohibited Workplace Bullying and another that would have permitted employers to pay their employees by debit card — may also see another review.
- In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling approving of same-sex marriages, it will also be interested to see how far bill to expand the state’s anti-discrimination laws to cover gender identity. My preview of the bill from last year is available here.
I’ve also heard that a proposal to move some of the states’ hearing officers or human rights referees under a central "administrative hearing officer" umbrella may get a look at. The CHRO also has an agenda of items that it will seek legislative approval of. Its’ recap from 2008 is available here.
With all of the focus that the media has on the Presidential race, It’s easy to forget that the elections next month will be critical to setting legislative agendas in Connecticut that may have a far greater impact on Connecticut businesses than the national races.