Continuing our weekly series on "The Basics" of different employment laws, this week we’ll look at a great resource set up by the Connecticut Department of Labor that provides employers with useful information about the "basics" of various wage and workplace laws in Connecticut.
This relatively new document (which can be accessed either online or downloaded as a PDF) entitled "A Guide to Wage and Workplace Standards Division and Its Laws", is designed to answer some basic questions for employers on everything from overtime requirements to record-keeping.
The Department of Labor’s Director, Gary Pechie, describes the motivation behind the project in a message:
One of our primary goals has been to deliver our services efficiently and in a timely manner and what better way than through our Website? It provides a wealth of information as well as permitting employers to access our services such as requesting sample deduction forms, keeping records other than at the place of employment, and requesting permission to pay other than weekly by simply e-mailing us.
Notably, the guide contains a "key points" that employers (and employees) should take away from the guide. Many of these points should be familiar to employers; if not, then the guide should quickly be a must-read on how to get into compliance under state law. The key areas are:
- Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees at least the minimum wage.
- Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a week.
- Employers are required to maintain true and accurate time records on all non-exempt employees.
- Discussion of the definition of executive, administrative and professional employees (exempt employees). Salary by itself does not make an employee exempt from minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping.
- Requirement to pay wages weekly and/or how to obtain a waiver of this provision.
- Deductions, other than those permitted by state or federal law, must be on a form approved by the Labor Commissioner.
I applaud the Department’s efforts to try to make this information accessible and understandable to a wide segment of public.
My only complaint is that it is nearly impossible to find on the Department’s website. It is buried deep in the Wage & Workplace Standards page under a simple "General Information" tab.
Because I know there are several DOL employees who are avid readers of the blog, here’s my open request to them: How about moving this information front and center so EVERYONE can take advantage of this great resource?
[UPDATE 8/27/09 – Kudos to the Department of Labor! They now feature a link to the publication prominently at the top "Wage and Workplace Standards" page. You can still view the document here.]
And for employers, consider yourself warned — Don’t miss out on this free resource put out by the Department. (For another great resource, check out the "cheat sheets" on various employment laws put out by Martk Toth of the excellent Manpower Employment Blawg.)