starrMy colleague Gary Starr returns today with a story worth reading about the need for employers to secure confidential information.  Although it is based on Massachusetts, the concepts it covers may have some carryover to employers elsewhere as well.  

Employers that maintain records of their employees and customers and allow employees have access to

As I said before, the notion that this might be a quiet year for employment law legislation at the Connecticut General Assembly has long since left the train station.

Indeed, we’ve appear to be swinging completely in the opposite direction. Anything and everything appears up discussion and possible passage this year — including items that really stood no chance in prior years.

GA2I’ll leave it for the political pundits to analyze the why and the politics of it all. But for employers, some of these proposals are going to be very challenging, at best, if passed.

One such bill, which appeared this week on the “GO” list (meaning its ready for considering by both houses) is House Bill 6850, titled “An Act on Pay Equity and Fairness”.  Of course, you won’t find those words in the bill itself which is odd.  There is nothing about pay equity in the bill; indeed, it is much much broader than that.

It stands in contrast to, say, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which tried to tackle gender discrimination in pay directly.

This bill would make it illegal for employers to do three things. If passed, no employer (no matter how big or small) could:

  • Prohibit an employee from disclosing, inquiring about or discussing the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee;
  • Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee his or her right to disclose, inquire 1about or discuss the amount of his or her wages or the wages of  another employee; or
  • Discharge, discipline, discriminate against, retaliate against or otherwise penalize any employee who discloses, inquires about or discusses the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee.

You might be wondering: Isn’t this first bill duplicative of federal law? And the answer is yes, and then it goes beyond it.  Federal labor law (the National Labor Relations Act) already protects two or more employees discussing improving their pay as a “protected concerted activity”.  It’s been on the books for nearly 80 years. So, as noted in an NPR article:

Under a nearly 80-year-old federal labor law, employees already can talk about their salaries at work, and employers are generally prohibited from imposing “pay secrecy” policies, whether or not they do business with the federal government.

This provision goes beyond that by making it improper for an employer to prohibit an employee from even disclosing another employee’s pay.


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With all the talk about Paid Sick Leave dominating the headlines, it’s important to remember that other bills get passed too.

Legislature Boosts Access to Personnel Files

Quietly, late last month, the Connecticut General Assembly beefed up the penalties to employers who do not follow the Personnel Files Act.

With all the talk this week about Title VII and what I would call slightly more "advanced" issues in employment law, it’s always wise to make sure that you, as acourtesy morgue filen employer, have the basics down. 

One issue, for example, that employers sometimes wonder about but rarely figure out is "What Records Must I Keep

While everyone remains focused on the bcourtesy morgue fileudget dilemma at the state legislature, other business — slowly and quietly — is still occurring. 

Late last month, the House unanimously passed H.B. 6185, a measure that would create civil penalties for employers that do not provide access to personnel files of their employees. 

Specifically, this bill subjects

Last month, I suggested that there was not necessarily a "crisis" in personnel file litigation in Connecticut, because the rules for personnel files had long been established.  Given that this blog has been discussing document management policies this week, it would be fair to say, however, that many employers could do a better job managing and keeping track of