New Connecticut Employment Laws Effective October 1, 2021


Several employment laws come into force on October 1, 2021. As this date approaches, employers may want to review and ensure consistency with these laws by making applicable changes to their practices, policies and procedures. Here is a reminder of the laws to know:

Disclosure of pay scale and pay equity

Employers with one or more employees will be required to disclose the salary range for a position to any candidate for a job before or at the time an offer of compensation is made, or at the request of the candidate, whichever comes first. Recent guidelines from the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL), which can be viewed here, indicate that the term “candidate” is broadly defined to include anyone applying for a job. The new law also requires employers to disclose the pay scale for an employee’s current position when hiring, when an employee changes jobs, or when the employee first requests for compensation. such information. “Salary range” is defined as “the range of salaries that an employer plans to rely on when setting wages for a position”. CTDOL guidelines suggest that the “salary range” may include additional compensation beyond the base salary for a position such as bonuses and / or commissions considered, but that purely discretionary payments generally do not constitute salaries and should not be disclosed.

In addition, the law states that employees can demonstrate discrimination in employment on the basis of sex if they are paid less than the rate at which the employer pays employees of the opposite sex for comparable work (previously the term was “equal”), when viewed as a set of skills, efforts and responsibilities and performed under similar working conditions. If an employee establishes a pay gap, the employer will need to demonstrate that the pay gap is determined by non-discriminatory factors such as seniority, merit, productivity, education, skills or geographic location. Connecticut employers will now need to establish or have some idea of ​​salary ranges for positions within their organizations, as well as positions that can be considered “comparable,” which may require changes in policies, practices and processes. related to recruitment, hiring and compensation. For more information on this law, please see Robinson + Cole’s legal update regarding the legislation here.

Lactation

Current Connecticut workplace breastfeeding law will be amended to require that breastfeeding rooms: (1) be secure from intrusion and secure from the public while the employee is speaking milk ; (2) include or be located near an employee-supplied refrigerator or portable refrigeration appliance in which an employee can store expressed breast milk; and (3) include access to an electrical outlet. Employers with one or more employees must adhere to these requirements as long as they do not create undue hardship on the employer. Connecticut employers may wish to revise their EEO, breastfeeding adjustment, and / or violate policies and practices and make necessary changes to their workplaces to reflect these legislative changes.

Smoking

The definition of “smoking” under Connecticut law will be replaced by “the burning of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other similar device, containing, in whole or in part, tobacco, cannabis or hemp ”. Individuals, including employees, will be prohibited from smoking inside any facility, building or establishment or within 25 feet of any door, opening window or air intake. a facility, building or establishment. Employers can also choose to completely ban smoking on the property. Employers will no longer be able to designate a smoking room for employees.

Age discrimination in job applications

Employers of three or more employees will be prohibited from requesting a job seeker’s age, date of birth, date (s) of graduation, or dates of attendance at an educational institution on an initial job application. However, the law provides an exception if the request is based on a bona fide professional qualification or if the information is required to comply with federal or state law. Connecticut employers would be well advised to review and revise their current job applications and their hiring and recruiting policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance with these changes.

Sexual harassment training

Employers will be able to forgo workplace sexual harassment prevention training for employees who have received mandatory in-person training or who have participated in online training provided by the Human Rights and Opportunities Commission (CHRO) under another employer in the two years preceding their hiring.

Call center relocation

Call centers will be required to provide 100 days notice to the labor commissioner if they plan to move their business outside of Connecticut. The law defines “call center” as an operation by which employees receive telephone calls or electronic communications for the purpose of providing customer service.

In addition to the above laws, which come into effect on October 1, 2021, employers may also consider additional updates to employee manuals in anticipation of the New Year. For example, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies may need to be updated to reflect changes to Connecticut’s FMLA law and employee eligibility for paid family leave, which will come into effect. effective January 1, 2022. Please consult our previous publications. , here and here, for more information on potential employee manual updates for 2022.

As employers review new legislation to determine what changes need to be made to their own practices and policies, they may wish to speak with knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure compliance with those laws.

Copyright © 2021 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 273


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