CONNECTICUT — State Laws by Topic
Employers with three or more employees are prohibited from, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification, refusing to hire or employ, terminating, barring from employment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to compensation or terms, conditions, or privi-leges of employment based on age. Note: State law does not define a protected age group.
Testing: Employers are prohibited from insisting upon an HIV-related test without first obtain-ing the consent of the individual.
Arrests: No general provision prohibiting an employer’s collection and use of arrest records. Such information may only be disclosed to those involved in the hiring or interviewing process, and may not be used as the sole reason for denying employment.
Convictions: Employers may not base a denial of employment solely on conviction records that have been expunged. Public employers are prohibited from inquiring about convictions on an initial job application, with limited exceptions.
A 30-minute meal break must be provided to employees. Meal breaks must be scheduled after the first two hours and before the last two hours of a 7.5-hour shift. Exceptions: Meal breaks set by union contracts override the law. Teachers may be excluded from the law. Employers may be excluded if compliance would jeopardize safety; only one employee performs the duties of the position; fewer than five employees are on duty; or the employer’s operations are continuous, require employees to respond to emergencies, and employees are paid for their meal breaks.
An employer shall not discriminate against, discipline, or take other adverse employment actions against any employee because she has exercised her right to express breast milk or breast-feed her child in her place of employment.
Click on the following link http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/employminors.htm to ac-cess the Connecticut Department of Labor’s checklist for the employment of minors and other information.
Employers served with a child support order must begin withholding with the first pay period occurring after 14 days after receipt of the order. Amounts are remitted within seven business days of payday. Notify the person or agency named in the order promptly if employee-obligor terminates employment.
Employers with three or more employees must permit an employee who is a victim of family violence to take paid or unpaid leave to participate in a civil or criminal proceeding. Employers may limit unpaid leave to 12 days during any calendar year.
An employer may not fire, penalize, threaten, or otherwise coerce an employee because: 1) the employee obeys a subpoena to testify as a witness in a criminal proceeding; 2) the employee attends court or participates in a police investigation related to a criminal case in which the em-ployee or an immediate family member is a victim; or 3) the emem-ployee has a restraining order issued on his/her behalf.
Employers are prohibited from refusing to hire or employ, terminating, barring from employ-ment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on a present or past history of mental disability, mental retarda-tion, learning disability, or physical disability, unless a bona fide occupational qualification exists.
Employers are also prohibited from advertising employment opportunities in such a manner that effectively discriminates against individuals with mental or physical disabilities, unless a bona fide occupational qualification exists.
Drug testing is not permitted unless an employer has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which adversely affects or could adversely affect his/her job performance, unless:
1. drug testing is authorized by federal law;
2. the employee is employed in an occupation that has been designated as a high-risk or safety-sensitive occupation by the commissioner of labor; or
3. the test is conducted as part of an employee assistance program sponsored or authorized by the employer in which the employee voluntarily participates.
While state law does not require employers to craft a written drug testing policy, a signed consent form is required before testing employees to monitor exposure to toxic or other unhealthy substances in the workplace.
Under the state’s medical marijuana law, employers may not refuse to hire a job candidate or discharge, penalize, or threaten an employee solely on the basis of his/her status as a patient who is qualified to ingest medical marijuana or as the primary caregiver to a qualified patient. However, employers can restrict the use of medical marijuana on their premises during working time, and employees may still be disciplined for being under the influence of intoxicating substances during work hours.
Employers with three or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire or employ, ter-minating, barring from employment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to com-pensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on marital status.
FAMILY/MEDICAL LEAVE Coverage: Employers with 75 or more employees within the state.
Employee eligibility: Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and for 1,000 hours or more during the 12-month period preceding the first day of leave.
Length of leave: Eligible employees of covered employers may take up to 16 workweeks of leave within any 24-month period, beginning with the first day of leave taken.
Reasons for leave: 1) the birth of a child, or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; 2) to care for the employee’s spouse (including a spouse of the same sex), child, or parent with a serious health condition; or 3) the serious health condition of the employee. Leave for the birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care may begin prior to the birth or placement if leave is required because of the impending birth or placement.
Note: Virtually all benefits, protections, and responsibilities granted to spouses in marriage are
to be extended to same-sex partners who enter into a civil union or marriage in the state. Family medical leave is one of the areas in which this requirement impacts employers.
Paid leave: Leave granted under the family and medical leave law may be unpaid. If an em-ployer provides paid leave for fewer than 16 workweeks, the additional weeks of leave necessary to attain the 16 workweeks of leave required under the law may be provided without pay. Unpaid leave taken under the family and medical leave law does not affect the employee’s status as an exempt employee under the state minimum wage and overtime pay law.
An employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any of his/ her accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or family leave for family and medical leave when the reason for leave is the birth of a child of the employee, or placement of a child with the em-ployee for adoption or foster care. In addition, accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, medi-cal leave, or sick leave may be substituted for family and medimedi-cal leave, at either the employee’s or employer’s request, when the reason for leave is the serious health condition of the spouse, child, or parent of the employee, or the employee’s own serious health condition. Employers are not, however, required to provide sick leave or paid medical leave if they don’t normally provide that type of paid leave.
Benefits: Taking family and medical leave may not result in the loss of any employment ben-efit accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced. The law may not be construed to entitle any restored employee to the accrual of any seniority or employment benefits during any period of leave or any right, benefit, or position of employment other than any right, benefit, or position to which the employee would have been entitled had he/she not taken the leave. Notification: Employees must give their employers at least 30 days’ notice before the date the leave is to begin of their intention to take leave for the serious health condition of a family member or their own serious health condition. If leave is to begin in less than 30 days, employees must give as much notice as is practical.
An employer may require an employee to obtain subsequent re-certifications on a reasonable basis. Unless otherwise required by the employee’s health care provider, the employer may not require re-certification more than once during a 30-day period. The employer must pay for any re-certification that is not covered by the employee’s health insurance.
Reinstatement: Any employee who takes family and medical leave is entitled, on return from such leave, to be restored by the employer to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave commenced. If the original position of employment is not available, the employee is to be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. In the case of a medical leave, if the employee is medically unable to perform his/her original job at the end of leave, he/she is to be transferred to work suit-able to his/her physical condition, if such work is availsuit-able.
As a condition of restoration for employees who have taken leaves for their own serious health conditions, the employer may have a uniformly applied practice or policy that requires each em-ployee to receive certification from the health care provider that he/she is able to resume work.
Paid sick leave: In addition to any other paid leave, employers that employ at least 50 service workers in the state must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per any 365 day period. Em-ployers must determine whether they employ 50 or more employees in the state by counting annu-ally the number of employees on the payroll during the week of October 1. Employers may provide more leave that the statutory requirement. Employers excluded: Certain manufacturing employers, tax-exempt employers, and employers that provide comparable paid leave.
Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours of work during any 365 day period. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of paid leave into the next calendar year. Em-ployees may donate unused accrued leave to their coworkers. EmEm-ployees become entitled to paid sick leave after working 680 hours, and an average of at least 10 hours a week during the most recent completed calendar quarter. Upon mutual consent, employees will be not considered to have used paid time off if they choose to work additional hours during the same or the following pay period to make up for the time off. Unless allowed under company policy, employees who terminate aren’t entitled to be cashed out for their accrued leave.
Employees may take paid sick leave for their own illness, injury, health condition, or that of their spouses or children; or to seek medical care or psychological or other counseling if they are victims of family violence or sexual assault, to relocate due to family violence or sexual assault, or to participate in related court proceedings. Employers may discipline employees who take paid leave for other reasons.
Employers may require that employees provide them with seven days’ notice prior to taking leave, if the need for leave is foreseeable. If the need for leave isn’t foreseeable, employees may be required to provide notice as soon as practicable. Employers may also require that employees provide reasonable documentation of the need for leave, if employees take at least three consecu-tive days off. Doctors’ notes or documentation signed by a representaconsecu-tive of a victim’s services organization, attorney, police office, or other counsel is considered reasonable.
See also military leave.
Employers are prohibited from: 1) requesting or requiring genetic information from an em-ployee or applicant; and 2) discharging, expelling, or otherwise discriminating against an individual on the basis of genetic information.
HEALTH CARE CONTINUATION COVERAGE
State law mandates that employer-sponsored group health plans must offer continuation cov-erage pursuant to federal COBRA and premium assistance pursuant to ARRA. Eligible employees have the right to continue coverage for up to 30 months. Unlike federal COBRA, Connecticut COBRA may be terminated early if the qualified beneficiary becomes eligible for other group health insurance.
Click on the following link http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/ACT/PA/2010PA-00013-R00HB-05219-PA.htm to access state law.
Employers may not deprive an employee of employment, or threaten or otherwise coerce an employee with respect to employment, because the employee receives a summons, responds to a summons, or serves as a juror. Employers must pay full-time employees (those who usually work 30 hours or more per week in jobs that are not temporary or casual) their usual wages for the first five days, or part thereof, of juror service. This provision does not apply to days when employees would not have earned regular wages or would not have worked more than half of a shift that extends into another day, even if they had not been called for jury duty. For jury service in excess of five days, the juror is compensated by the state.
Note: A juror who has served eight hours of jury duty in any one day shall be deemed to have
worked a legal day’s work, and an employer may not require that employee to work in excess of that eight hours, regardless of whether the shift regularly worked by the employee coincides with the hours served as a juror.
MASS LAYOFF NOTIFICATION
No state-specific notification provision.
MEDICAL DONATION LEAVE
State family and medical leave provisions extend to leave needed for medical procedures and recovery relative to organ and bone marrow donation. Any employee who requests medical leave to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor must provide his/her employer with written certifica-tion on the probable amount of time the employee will need for leave.
In addition, an employee of a municipality who has worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period may request leave in order to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor.
The employer of any person who, as a part of the person’s military service, is required to at-tend military reserve or National Guard meetings or drills during regular working hours must allow that person a leave of absence for such purposes without loss of vacation or holiday privilege. Reinstatement: Members of the state National Guard who are ordered into active state duty are entitled to the same employment rights, privileges, and protections under state law as they are under federal law.
Family military leave: Under the state’s Family and Medical Act, an employee, who is the spouse, son or daughter, parent, or next of kin of a current member of the Armed Forces, Na-tional Guard, or reserves who is: 1) undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy; 2) otherwise in outpatient status; or 3) on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness, is entitled to up to 26 weeks of unpaid military caregiver leave during a 12-month period. State employees are entitled to 26 weeks of unpaid military caregiver leave during a 24-month period.
Note: Virtually all benefits, protections, and responsibilities granted to spouses in marriage are to be extended to same-sex partners who enter into a civil union or marriage in the state.
Minimum hourly wage/overtime rate: $8.70/$13.15; $9.15/$13.73, beginning January 1, 2015 $9.60/$14.40, on January 1, 2016; and $10.10/$15.15, on January 1, 2017.
Basis for overtime: Over 40 hours/week.
Employers with three or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire or employ, ter-minating, barring from employment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to com-pensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on national origin or ancestry.
Data to be reported: Employee’s name, address, SSN; employer’s name, address, federal EIN; report independent contractors with contracts of at least $5,000 for services.
Reporting deadline/form: Within 20 days of hire or rehire; on CT-W-4s. While state law requires employers to report new hires within 20 days of their date of hire, the state labor depart-ment is requesting that employers report new hires on their first day of work.
OVERTIME Basis for overtime: Over 40 hours in a workweek.
The state has clarified its position on the revised federal white-collar regulations. State and federal law continue to parallel each other. One important point of divergence is that the state will not allow employers to dock exempts’ pay for disciplinary reasons, a practice allowed under the federal regs. Minor differences in the wording of the tests for exempt status also exist. Employ-ers, therefore, are urged to consult both state and federal laws before deciding whether a position is exempt.
Information required: Hours worked; gross/net pay; deductions.
An employer must permit a current or former employee to inspect the employee’s personnel file within seven days after receiving a written request from a current employee and 10 days after receiving a written request from a former employee. Employers are allowed to charge employees a reasonable copying fee.
An employer must provide an employee with copies of any documentation of a disciplinary ac-tion or terminaac-tion and notify the employee that he/she can include in the file a written statement disagreeing with any information in the disciplinary, termination, or evaluation documents. The employer must keep the employee’s statement in the personnel file and include it whenever the file is transmitted or disclosed to a third party.
Employers are required to obtain and retain employment applications in a secure manner and take reasonable measures to destroy or make the applications unreadable upon disposal.
Employers must also permit an employee’s physician, or a physician selected by the employer and agreed upon by the employee, to inspect medical records relating to that employee.
Connecticut amended its Personnel Files Act so that the Labor Commissioner is able to secure by subpoena an employer against whom a complaint has been filed; an employee who has filed a complaint that is the subject of such investigation; any other person having custody or control of such employee’s medical record or personnel file; or any person whose testimony may be perti-nent to the matter under investigation, together with any records relevant to the investigation.
No employer may request or require any prospective or current employee to take a polygraph examination as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, or dismiss or discipline an employee in any manner for failing, refusing, or declining to take a polygraph examination.
Unemployment Insurance — All employers Workers’ Compensation — All employers
Minimum Wage & Overtime (English & Spanish) — All employers Discrimination (English & Spanish) — All employers
Sexual Harassment — All employers
Electronic Monitoring — Employers that use electronic monitoring of any kind
Smoking in Designated Areas Only — Employers of five or fewer employees, who permit smoking in designated areas
Smoking Permitted — Employers who provide a smoking break room to post on doors of smoking break room
No Smoking — Post at entrances to workplace and in non-smoking break rooms, if employer provides a smoking break room
Coverage: Private employers with at least three employees; all public employers.
General rule: Employers may not: 1) terminate an employee’s employment because she is pregnant; 2) refuse to grant her a reasonable leave of absence for a disability resulting from her pregnancy; 3) deny an employee who is disabled because of pregnancy any compensation to which she is entitled as a result of the accumulation of disability or leave benefits accrued pursu-ant to an employer plan; and 4) fail or refuse to make a reasonable effort to transfer a pregnpursu-ant employee to any suitable temporary position if the employee has given written notice of her preg-nancy and the employer and employee reasonably believe that continuing in her current position may cause injury to the employee or her unborn child.
Length of leave: The maximum leave available is the same as for temporarily disabled em-ployees.
Reinstatement: Employers may not fail or refuse to reinstate employees to their original jobs or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, seniority, retirement, fringe benefits, and other service credits upon their signifying their intent to return from pregnancy leave, unless the employer’s circumstances have so changed as to make such a reinstatement impossible or unreasonable.
See also family/medical leave.
Employers with three or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire or employ, ter-minating, barring from employment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to com-pensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on race or color.
Blacklisting/references: Employers cannot blacklist employees, publish their names, or con-spire or contrive, by correspondence or otherwise, to prevent them from securing other employ-ment. However, the blacklisting law does not prohibit any employer from giving a truthful state-ment of any facts about a current/former employee to a prospective employer.
All time during which employees must be on the premises, on duty, or at a prescribed work-place, and all time during which employees are employed or permitted to work, whether or not re-quired to do so, is compensable working time. This time includes, but isn’t limited to, time during which employees must wait on the premises while no work is provided by the employer.
Click on the following link http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm to access Connecti-cut’s public employer Occupational Safety and Health home page, which applies to state and municipal employers. For information about consulting services for private employers, click on
SCHOOL VISITATION LEAVE
Employers with three or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire or employ, ter-minating, barring from employment, or discriminating against an individual with respect to com-pensation or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on sex.
Employers of 50 or more employees must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training and education to supervisory personnel. New supervisors must be trained within six months of assuming their new duties. Training must include information concerning federal and state laws on sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
Employers of three or more employees must post information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
employer is defined as any person employing three or more employees. Religious entities are excluded from these provisions.
Note: State courts have found transgender discrimination to be actionable.
Any employer with five or more employees must ban smoking entirely within a structurally enclosed work facility, except in a designated smoking room if the employer chooses to set up one. The smoking area must be a non-work area with a separate ventilation system that exhausts air directly outside.
Employers with fewer than five employees have to provide a non-smoking work area to any employee requesting one.
See also lifestyle discrimination.
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER PRIVACY
An Act Concerning the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers requires employers that collect Social Security numbers in the course of business to create a privacy protection policy that: 1) protects the confidentiality of Social Security numbers; 2) prohibits the unlawful disclosure of Social Security numbers; and 3) limits access to Social Security numbers. The policy must be pub-lished or publicly displayed.
In addition, Social Security numbers may not be publicly posted or displayed; printed on any card required to access products or services provided by the employer; transmitted over unsecured Internet connections; or used to access an Internet site unless accompanied by an authentication device (a unique password or personal identification number, for example).
Employers must safeguard personal information on computer files and in paper documents from misuse by third parties by destroying, erasing, or making unreadable such data prior to dis-posal. Employers that maintain computerized data that includes personal information (e.g., Social Security numbers) must report a security breach “without unreasonable delay” to anyone whose personal information might have been compromised.
Click on the following link http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/uitax/txmenu.htm to access the Con-necticut Department of Labor unemployment insurance tax information.
VACATION PAY UPON TERMINATION
terminated without having received such accrued fringe benefits, such employee shall be compen-sated for such accrued fringe benefits, exclusive of normal pension benefits, in the form of wages in accordance with such agreement or policy.
Domestic violence: Employers with three or more employees must permit an employee who is a victim of family violence to take paid or unpaid leave to:
• seek medical or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability for the victim;
• obtain services from a victim services organization; • relocate due to such family violence; or
• participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family vio-lence.
Employers may limit unpaid leave to 12 days during any calendar year.
Employees may be required to provide seven days’ advance notice for foreseeable absences. Upon an employer’s request, an employee shall provide the employer a signed written statement certifying that the leave is for a purpose listed above. The employer may also, but need not, re-quest that the employee provide a police or court record related to the family violence or a signed written statement that the employee is a victim of family violence, provided such statement is from an employee or agent of a victim services organization, an attorney, an employee of the Judicial Branch’s Office of Victim Services or the Office of the Victim advocate, or a licensed medical professional or other licensed professional from whom the employee has sought assistance with respect to the family violence.
In addition, employers are prohibited from depriving an employee of employment, or penal-izing, threatening, or otherwise coercing an employee with respect to employment, because the employee is a victim of family violence.
Health care employers. Health care employers with 50 or more full-time or part-time em-ployees must establish an ongoing workplace safety committee. Annually, employers must per-form a risk analysis of any workplace violence factors and, in collaboration with the workplace safety committee, develop and implement a written workplace violence prevention and response plan. Existing policies may satisfy this requirement, if the committee determines that the policies are adequate. To the extent possible, employers must accommodate an employee’s request to change patient care assignments.
No time-off-to-vote provision.
No employer may withhold or divert any portion of employees’ wages unless authorized by state or federal law; made with the written consent of the employee and approval of the commis-sioner of labor and industries; or the employee authorizes deductions for medical, surgical, or hos-pital care or service. No deductions may be made from higher wages that will bring them below the applicable minimum wage without the written consent of the employee and approval of the commissioner. Employers may implement auto-enrollment 401(k) plans, as defined in federal law. Employees must be given notice of the auto-enrolled feature, a description of the investment op-tions, and a brief description of how they can change their default investments. Employees must also receive an annual notice regarding the investments made on their behalf. Employees must be allowed to change investments at least quarterly.
Up to 75% of an employee’s disposable weekly pay, or the amount by which disposable week-ly pay exceeds 40 times the federal minimum wage or 40 times the state minimum wage, which-ever is greatest, is exempt from creditor garnishment. Employers may not terminate or otherwise discipline an employee because his/her disposable pay is subject to a creditor garnishment.
WAGE PAYMENT ON TERMINATION Employee who quits: Next payday.
Employee who’s fired: Next business day for employee who’s fired; next regular payday for employee who’s laid off.
Payday requirements: Weekly on regular, predesignated paydays; Labor Commissioner may approve alternative pay schedule.
Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize any employee because the employee or person acting on behalf of the employee: 1) reports a violation or suspected violation of any state, local, or federal law or regulation to a public body; 2) participates in an investiga-tion, hearing, or inquiry that a public body holds, or in a court action; or 3) reports an employer’s unethical practices, mismanagement, or abuse of authority to a public body.
No general provision.