The so-called “Time’s Up” bill that would make major changes to the sexual harassment and discrimination laws in the state — including adding new training requirements — went through final passage at the House on Saturday. But don’t start changing your policies just yet.
Late Friday, the House passed the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act bill that passed the Senate earlier in May. Governor Lamont has indicated that he will sign the measure. As such, big changes are coming, though some of the biggest changes are are still a few years off.
You can review the bill here…
It seems likely that some type of paid Family and Medical Leave (otherwise known as “Paid FMLA”) bill is going to pass the General Assembly.
But the “paid” aspect of the…
Yesterday, one of the measures floating around the Connecticut General Assembly regarding Paid Family Medical Leave passed a key committee vote.
The bill still has a ways to go. Indeed, as first reported by CT News Junkie, even the speaker of the house described it as a “work in progress”. But now that’s closer…
Well, the Connecticut General Assembly ended earlier this week and, as predicted, it ended with a whimper and not a bang. Many employment law proposals failed to receive votes, including those on minimum wage and Paid FMLA, leaving many employers (and the CBIA) breathing a bit of a sigh of relief.
I’ve previously recapped…
If at first you succeed, try it again.
Well, that may not be how the saying goes, but the first back-and-forth post between me and Nina Pirrotti, an employee-side attorney, was so well received that we’re back for another conversation.
Today’s topic: What legislation are we both keeping our eyes out for at the Connecticut General Assembly?
The Dialogue Begins
Dan Schwartz: So Nina, our first post was such a hit that I think we’re due for an encore. Thanks for being up for this.
It has only bewn a few weeks, but it feels like we’re moving at warp speed on developments. We could spend another post just on
The Donald, sorry, Mr. President. Somehow I think we’re likely to talk about that again soon.
But let’s focus today on some of the legislative items we’re keeping an eye on, particularly in Connecticut. Each year, it seems like our General Assembly likes to roll out fresh employment law ideas.
Is there a particular bill that you’re keeping your eye on now from an employee-side perspective?
Nina Pirrotti: I’m so glad you asked! Yes, let me tell you about one bill that has been on my mind on the federal level (I am speaking about it at an ABA conference in sunny Puerto Vallarta really soon) and then I will give you a couple of highlights from our backyard.
The federal bill that looms large for me right now (although concededly perhaps not as large as the prospect of sitting on the beach, tequila based beverage in hand) is the misleadingly named Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (“LARA”) which would force judges to respond to Rule 11 motions in a particular manner.
Rule 11 allows for the possibility of sanctions to be imposed on attorneys or parties who submit (or later advocate for) pleadings which have been filed for an improper purpose or which contain frivolous arguments or claims.
While Rule 11 motions rear their ugly heads relatively rarely in litigation, a newly invigorated Republican majority in Congress has proposed LARA which would amend the sanctions provisions in Rule 11 to remove all judicial discretion – – regardless of the circumstances of the individual case- – in two critical respects.
First it would require the court to sanction any attorney, law firm, or party who violates the rule. Second it forces judges who find the rule has been violated to order the offending party to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Those in my world who oppose LARA say that there is no proof Rule 11 is not working in its current form, that the changes would burden the courts and that its “once size fits all” mandatory sanctions would unfairly penalize employees in civil lawsuits.
Closer to home, two bills come to mind. The first is a proposed modification of C.G.S.A. 31-51m, a statute which bars employers from retaliating against employees who report employers’ unethical or legal wrongdoings to public bodies.
The modification seeks to protect employees who complain about such conduct internally or who refuse to participate in an activity they believe to be in violation of the law. It also seeks to extend the timeline to bring an action under the law (employees now have only 90 days to file) and to provide for a greater array of damages if the employer violates the statute.
The second is a proposal to provide eligible employees with paid Family and Medical Leave Act leave. The proposed legislation would require employees to contribute 1/2 of 1% of their wages to it (there would be no employer contribution) and employees cannot opt out it.
We plaintiff employment lawyers would welcome both pieces of legislation as long overdue and reasonably tailored to protect Connecticut’s workforce.
What are your thoughts from the other side of the aisle, Dan? Or is there other proposed legislation that has captured your attention?
Here we go.
Last December, I talked about how a legislative proposal to bring paid family and medical leave to Connecticut was likely.
Turns out, not only was it likely, but that there would be a big public relations push on it as well.
The bill is still in its formative stages at the legislature,…
I’ll have more in the upcoming days as events warrant, but here’s a quick look at a few items that I’ve been tracking in recent weeks.
- A bill (HB 6658) restricting the use of non-compete