One of my colleagues, Mike Chase has, for the last several years, been tweeting at “Crime a Day” about the various federal criminal laws and regulations that we have. Or rather, the thousands upon thousands of them. In fact, Mike has now put out a great book “How to Become a Federal Criminal” that is the perfect beach read or birthday gift. 

The point Mike likes to make is this:  Congress has been so careless in giving lawmaking authority to federal agencies that in the process it has created an incoherent and largely accidental body of criminal law. 

Recently, I wrote about how it will now a violation of the state’s employment law to discriminate against someone because of their status on the Civil Air Patrol.  Pretty random, right?

It may only impact a few employers, but it’s just another one in a long series of laws that employers need to follow in this state.  It really got me thinking — how many employment laws do employers in Connecticut really need to follow?

Until now, there hasn’t been a way to track that.  I’m going to try to start now.

And so, each week (maybe more if I can), I’m going to try to highlight one of the state’s laws or regulations that employers need to follow.  I have no idea how many there are but we’re going to start to find out.  Some laws make sense and employers will need to take steps to get into compliance; others may not and perhaps the General Assembly might add them to a list of bills that have outlived their usefulness. (Don’t get me started on the elevator operation rule at Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-25.)

Most of these laws or rules can be found in two parts of our Connecticut General Statutes — Title 31 and Title 46.  And if we add in some regulations, it’s going to expand.

No doubt, the list will be wide ranging. For example, you probably know that an employer can’t discriminate on the basis of race, but did you know it was against the law to condition employment on the sterilization of the employee? (It is: Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-40h.)

And a caveat: For the time being, I will likely NOT be focusing on the federal employment laws. Why? Well, every project needs parameters and I think just focusing on the state laws may keep me busy here for years. Employers obviously need to follow both state and federal. And some jurisdictions have local laws to follow too.

So, follow along and feel free to ask for particular laws to be featured in upcoming posts. You can add them to the comments or tweet them to me.  I’ll keep a running list of laws and I’m going to title this project the “Employment Law Checklist Project”- a nod to the notion that employers need to follow a checklist of laws. How big is that checklist? Let’s find out together.

You can find the first of these posts here.