The last several years have seen significant pieces of legislation pass the Connecticut General Assembly impacting employers in several ways.
Think about the following items in the last few years:
- Clean Slate Law (effective 1/1/23)
- Multiple Minimum Wage Increases (to $14 effective 7/1/23)
- “Captive Audience” Ban (now effective)
- Lactation Room Requirements (now effective)
- Ban on Dates of Birth or Graduation Dates on Job Applications (now effective)
- Legalization of Cannabis and Changes to Workplace Smoking Rules
- Two hours of Paid Time Off for Employees to Vote in State Elections
Not to mention changes to the state FMLA law and implementation of Paid Leave benefits as well. (Suffice to say, it’s also kept employment lawyers like those in my practice group a bit busy too.)
But the legislature waits for no one and a new General Assembly year has started. What might employers expect this year?
First up, bills banning non-compete agreements will no doubt be on the agenda. In fact, last March a hearing was held on one proposal that never ended up winning final passage. With a federal proposed rule now on the table, though, will this increase or decrease the likelihood of a state rule when the federal one might replace it anyway? That’s the big unknown.
It’s also likely that a proposal to expand Paid Sick Leave (where employers would be obligated to pay employees) will be considered. Last year, a hearing was held on just such a bill.
While it’s early, one proposed bill that popped up today would bar employers from using employment agreements that charge employees for training costs when the employee left employment. This has been a hot topic for several years now; will this be the year that we will see some action?
It’s still way too early this legislative term to make any sort of predictions. The Labor and Public Employees Committee is meeting for the first time on Thursday January 12th with an introduction of members but without a consideration of any bills. Senator Julie Kushner will continue to chair it. And then, it’s off to the races.