If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know that the budget implementer bill in the state legislature always contains more than just budget items. It’s a “must-pass” bill that normally has items that, for one reason or another, didn’t pass during the regular session but that are important to various legislators.
It was just four years ago that the budget implementer contained big changes to the state’s FMLA laws; those provisions were withdrawn at the last minute, but you get the idea.
So what’s in this year’s budget implementer that passed the State Senate last night and is headed to an expected “yes” vote in the House today? The bill is 837 pages and this is only a quick blog post, so here are some of the highlights relevant to employers:
- The bill contains a number of provisions regarding “domestic workers”. Employers of such workers must provide certain written information to the workers upon hire. (Sections 3-5)
- The bill contains notice requirements for call centers that relocate from Connecticut. (Section 6)
- The bill creates a new framework for controlling and processing personal data and broadens the state’s data privacy laws. My colleagues will have a separate post on this forthcoming. (Sections 66-77)
- The bill requires employers to give an employee two hours of unpaid time off for state elections and certain special elections for the next few years, if the employee requests such time in advance. (Section 108)
- The bill requires employers that are covered by the unemployment law to report an employee’s gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, highest education completed. While this information cannot be disclosed by the agency under an FOI request, it can be shared with other states or the federal government — basically creating a massive database of everyone’s identity. (Section 304)
- The bill makes further changes to the state FMLA law, allowing individuals to proceed to court, requiring claims at the administrative level to proceed like the CHRO and adding the state as a covered employer. (Sections 309-315)
- The bill prohibits employers from deliberately misinforming employees about or dissuading them from filing a claim for benefits from workers’ compensation or a new CT Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Program. (Section 324)
My firm will be reviewing the bill over the next few days to provide a further recap, as necessary, on our sister blogs.