Early Saturday morning, the Connecticut General Assembly passed two bills that will have a significant impact on employers in Connecticut.  Both bills now need to be signed by the Governor (who has indicated he will sign them).

First, the Senate passed House Bill 6599, which adds “gender identity or expression” as a new protected category under employment law.

What is it? According to the legislature it means:

a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose.

When signed, the bill will become effective on October 1, 2011 and will affect all employers in Connecticut with three or more employees.

Also on Saturday, the House approved the “paid sick leave” bill, Senate Bill 913.  That measure will become effective on January 1, 2012.  The measure passed by the House was unchanged from the version that passed the Senate in late May. I previously recapped that measure here.

For employers, these two measures will require some changes to human resources practices, procedures and policies.  I’ll start a full recap of such measures on Tuesday at the relaunch of the blog.