So, employers are probably tired of hearing me say that there’s always something to update in your employee handbook.
But if employers can do it, why can’t the legislature get its act together and clean up our existing laws to the ones that are relevant — or at least update them.
Instead, we get layers upon layers of laws that employers probably have no idea even exist.
Did you know that if you’re over 66 years old, you can’t work in a bowling alley or “photograph gallery” after 10 p.m. Unless you “consent”. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-18.)
Let’s just ponder this one for a second. What is a “photograph gallery”? And what does it mean to “consent” to work? Can a 66 year old simply say that he’s not going to work late?
Then there is the ban on minors operating elevators — something I’ve talked about before. Do we even have ANY elevator operators left in Connecticut? Is that even a job?
Then there is Sec. 31-43 which declares that “A public laundry shall be regarded as a manufacturing establishment within the provisions of the statutes. No laundry work shall be done in any public laundry in a room used as a sleeping or living room. No employer shall permit any person to work in his public laundry who is affected with pulmonary tuberculosis, a scrofulous or venereal disease or a communicable skin affection.”
Raise your hand if you even know what a “scrofulous” disease is. And I’m pretty confident that bedrooms aren’t being used as public laundries anymore. (And besides, various OSHA rules probably more than cover this.)
To their credit, the General Assembly finally eliminated the law regarding telegraph operators in 2014. But there are still plenty more laws on the books that could use a refresh.
Now that the legislature is done with the main business for the year, perhaps it can take this summer to review the other laws we have before adding some more. It might just be a useful exercise.