Tag Archives: Connecticut

With A New Year Comes New Rules! Here’s Your State Employment Law Update

Contributed by Heather Bailey

California: Effective January 1, 2015, the required paid for rest periods are considered “hours worked” by the employee, and, consequently, are not subject to wage deductions by the employer.  (California also has special requirements for making any deductions from their paychecks that you should be aware of before making any).

Colorado: Minimum wage rose to $8.23 per hour on January 1 

Connecticut: As of the first of the year, CT’s minimum wage went to $9.15 per hour.  Are you aware there is a paid sick leave law in CT?  If not, be sure to contact your employment counsel or the blog author as some changes were made beginning January 1st.

DCAs of December 17, 2014, employers cannot ask applicants certain information about their criminal backgrounds and any rescinding of a conditional offer of employment must be backed up with a legitimate business reason.  Moreover, employers are required to reasonably accommodate pregnant women when their workload is affected by pregnancy, child birth and child-related medical conditions (i.e., breast feeding).

Massachusetts:  Effective January 1, minimum wage increased to $9 per hour.  July 1, 2015, employers with 11 or more employees will be required to offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to employees.

MarylandMaryland’s minimum wage rose to $8.00 as of January 1st.

Missouri: Effective January 1, all equal-priority garnishments should now be prioritized by date of receipt.

New Jersey: NJ joined the other states starting March 1, 2015 to “Ban the Box” and prohibits job advertisements from stating only those without a criminal past can apply.

New York Effective December 31st this past year, minimum wage increased for NY to $8.75 per hour.  Effective immediately, employers will not be required to notify their employees in writing by February 1 about pay rates, pay days, etc. and get signed acceptance.  Employers do still need to abide by their obligation to notify employees of the same at time of hire.

Ohio:  Ohio has now given employers the ability to seek out protective orders when dealing with employees’ stalker or menacing issues when the conduct is directed at the employer.

Rhode Island: Your minimum wage increased to $9 an hour beginning this month.

Vermont: Your minimum wage increased to $9.15 an hour beginning this month.

Please keep in mind that the majority of states increased their minimum wages and you should contact your employment labor counsel or the blog author to confirm you are in compliance.

Paid Sick Leave? Ban The Box? Pregnancy? Equal Pay? Smoker Retaliation Poster? Here’s Your State Employment Law Update

Contributed by Heather Bailey

Reminder: EEO-1 Surveys Due To Be Filed By September 30th! 

US Map

Arizona:  In July, the Attorney General confirmed that the AZ smoking restrictions do not apply to e-cigs.

California: Employers, get ready to start having to offer paid sick leave beginning July 1, 2015 if you aren’t already!  See our September 16, 2014 post for more details.  Also, beginning January 1, 2015, unpaid interns and volunteers are getting the same nondiscrimination and harassment treatment as paid workers, including non-harassment training.

Connecticut:  Starting October 1, 2014, workers may obtain certificates of rehabilitation related to their arrests and convictions of which employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees and applicants when they present one for initial or continuing employment.

Delaware:  Your minimum wage increased to $7.75 per hour on June 1, 2014!

Illinois:  In case you missed our other blog posts, effective January 1 2015, Illinois joined the ranks of the “Ban the Box” campaign, which prohibits employers (with 15 or more employees) from asking applicants about criminal records on a job application.  You cannot do so until they have either been selected for an interview or been given a conditional offer of employment (with a few select exceptions).  Also effective January 1, the Illinois Human Rights Act related to pregnancy was expanded (more than any other state) so employers must now reasonably accommodate any condition related to pregnancy.

Indiana:  On September 2, 2014, the right to work law was upheld once again – this time by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

MassachusettsPlease note your minimum wage hikes: January 1, 2015, $9 per hour ($3 an hour for tipped employees); $10 an hour ($3.35 for tipped employees) on January 1, 2016, and to $11 ($3.75 for tipped) beginning January 1, 2017.

Michigan: Your minimum wage increased to $8.15 per hour on September 1, 2014.

Missouri: The Missouri Supreme Court recently held that the state’s statutory cap on punitive damages is unconstitutional as is applied to certain common law claims. (Lewellen v. Franklin, case SC92871). The holding is limited to common law causes of action that existed when the Missouri Constitution was adopted in 1820.  In the short-term, this decision may raise the cost of litigation as plaintiff’s attorneys will undoubtedly try to add common law claims to employment lawsuits hoping that the threat of unlimited punitive damages will result in more generous settlements.  However, given that traditional common law claims have been increasingly difficult to sustain in the employment context and have been largely supplanted by statutory and more recently-recognized common law actions, Lewellen is ultimately unlikely to raise the stakes for Missouri employers.  Read more about this here.

New Hampshire:  Beginning January 1, 2015, employers have a new mandatory poster requirement for equal pay and smoker rights non-retaliation, as well as, employers may not prohibit employees from discussing pay wages or retaliate against them for doing the same.

Oklahoma:  OK jumped on the band wagon by prohibiting employers from requiring employees to give up their personal social media log-ons and passwords, effective November 1, 2014.

Vermont: Vermont’s smoking ban includes at least 25 feet from buildings and entrances.  Your minimum wage obligations also increase: January 1, 2015 = $9.15 per hour; January 1, 2016 = $9.60; January 1, 2017 = $10 and January 1, 2018 = $10.50.  All tipped employees must be paid at least one-half of the minimum wage effective January 1, 2015.

April Showers: Update For Your State and Federal Employment Laws

Contributed by Heather Bailey

Federal:   The OFCCP has published the data for federal contractors and subcontractors who must now comply with having protected veteran benchmarks for their affirmative action plans and hiring goals.  Currently, that nationwide threshold is 7.2% unless the contractor wants to create its own individualized benchmarks, to which that state specific veteran data is supplied. See, http://www.dol-esa.gov/errd/VEVRAA.jsp.  Other OFCCP resources are also available, such as assistance with outreach and recruiting efforts for protected veterans:  http://www.dol-esa.gov/errd/resources.html.

That is not all.  Contractors are now required to also request individuals to self-identify if they are an individual with a disability pre-offer stage.  Again, the OFCCP has given us guidance on how to do so.  http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/section503.htm.  This all came into effect on March 24, thus, time is of the essence to get compliant if your current plans are expiring soon (if not, you will be required to be compliant with your next plan – but you should start planning now).

Connecticut: Minimum wage is set to increase on January 1, 2015 to $9.15 per hour, and then to $9.60 a year later and then up to $10.10 by January 1, 2017.

Illinois:  In March, the Supreme Court found Illinois’ eavesdropping law on electronic monitoring (except video) unconstitutional.  What does this mean for employers?  Originally, all parties had to consent to being recorded – not the case anymore.  Although that allows employers to secretly record conversations (which is not advised), it allows employees to secretly record conversations during performance, discipline or even discharge meetings with management or HR.

Maryland: Have tipped employees in Maryland?  So long as their non-tip work is less than 20% of their productivity, you can pay them the minimum tip wage for that non-tip work.

New York: The New York City Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) went into effect on April 1.  The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs finally came out with the required notices.

Here is where you can go to get copies:  http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/downloads/pdf/MandatoryNotice.pdf   and Spanish: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/downloads/pdf/MandatoryNotice_Spanish.pdf .

The Department also has them available in Italian, Chinese, Korean or Russian.  These notices need to be handed to all current and new employees effective May 1, 2014.  Thus, all new hires will have to get a copy once you disperse the initial notices.  You are encouraged, but not required to post these notices at the work location.  Consequently, you cannot just post at the work site in lieu of handing the employees a copy.

Multi-State Employers: It’s Time for Your State L&E Update!

Contributed by Heather Bailey

ColoradoEmployees must be allowed to take FMLA leave for their domestic partner or civil union partner who has a serious health condition.

Connecticut: Here, homeless applicants and employees are now a protected class from discrimination.  Effective January 1, 2014, minimum wage increases to $8.70 per hour and to $9 on January 1, 2015.

Illinois: Employers can now stop reporting projected monthly wages on the new-hire reports.

Maryland:  Effective October 1, 2013, employers have a new posting requirement for tipped employees stating that employer cannot require tipped employees to reimburse employer for unpaid customer charges.  If an employer does not offer health insurance, employees’ minimum wages are $8.25 per hour.

NevadaNevada has become the next state prohibiting employers from compelling employees to give up their personal social media account log-ins and passwords, effective October 1, 2013.

New Hampshire: Effective August 24, 2013, employers cannot ask applicants and employees regarding certain annulled records, as well as, medical marijuana is now legal but employers may not need to accommodate this (be prepared on how you handle this in the workplace).

New YorkMinimum wage increase to $8 an hour on December 31, 2013, to $8.75 on December 31, 2014 and $9 on December 31, 2015.

Rhode IslandMinimum wage rises to $8 per hour on January 1, 2014, as well as, same-sex marriages and civil unions from other jurisdictions are now recognized.

State laws change every day.  Make sure you are aware of them all for the states in which you have employees!