If April Showers bring May…Oh never mind. In Connecticut, April might as well mean that the General Assembly is getting serious about the bills under consideration.  All the proposals that make headlines in February mean nothing until committees start to vote on the bills and the bills start getting the spotlight on them.

Usually by now, we start to see a significant fall off between aspirational goals and practical bills.

Not this year.

Right now, however, it feels like there is still so much in play.  Things are changing rapidly so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to look at each bill individually.  But beyond the Paid FMLA and the Minimum Wage bills that have gotten the most press, there are still several others that are worth following.

  • SHB 6913 would make massive changes to the state’s non-compete laws. The current version would limit non-competes to one year unless special circumstances would apply. Non-competes would also be unenforceable if the employer terminated the employment of the employee. And despite the fact that Connecticut is an at-will employment state, an employee could resign for “good cause” (which is undefined) and the non-compete would be unenforceable then as well.  It’s been favorably reported out of committee.  This is a bill to keep an eye on.  
  • Senate Bills 64 and 440 would restrict employers from being able to speak on certain political or religious matters, including during union organizing campaigns.  This bill has also been favorably reported out of committee and would likely be the subject of a court challenge, if passed. 
  • Senate Bill 358 would require employers to provide employees with a minimum of four hours off for each regular and special election held “to fill a vacancy in a state, district or municipal office.”  That is a remarkable amount of time off on certain days.  That bill has also been reported favorably out of committee.
  • Senate Bill 3 — reflecting legislative priorities — is also one to keep an eye on because it too has been has been reported out of committee.  The bill would mandate two hours of training on sexual harassment prevention to all employees who work at employers with 3 or more employees. The bill would also allow employers to have these employees watch a 2 hour training video online that is to be created by the CHRO.  The bill would also allow for punitive damages in cases of discrimination.

For more on these bills, you can follow the CBIA’s posts on the subject.  

Suffice to say — if you haven’t been paying attention yet to the legislative session, it’s not too late. Things are just getting interesting.  Who knows what May will really bring.