Labor and Employment Issues Under Consideration By 2015 Connecticut General Assembly

Every year at this time, a number of bills are floated before the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee for consideration. Some have no chance of any traction, such as the one proposing Connecticut to be a Right-to-Work state. It remains to be seen whether others will become law, but it is important to be aware of such labor and employment proposals. One such proposal includes changes to Connecticut’s paid sick leave law.

An Act Expanding Paid Sick Leave, Raised Bill No. 6784.

This bill would expand the current paid sick leave law to include all workers, not just service workers.

The definition of “employer” is expanded to include a “chain business.”

Also, an employee is entitled to carry over 56 unused accrued hours of paid sick leave, up from the maximum 40 hours, at an unchanged accrual rate of one hour of paid sick leave for each 40 hours worked.

Further, an employee is entitled to the use of accrued paid sick leave upon the completion of 120 calendar days of employment, a change from the current 680 hours of employment.

Also, an employee may use such paid sick leave for the employee’s family member’s illness, injury or health condition. “Family member” is defined to include a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent or grandchild and includes stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings and adoptive relationships.

A sampling other labor and employment bills affecting employers, employees and unions under consideration by the Committee is as follows:

SB-105           Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Severe Mental and Emotional Impairment.
SB-106           Retaliation Against Immigrant Workers.
PSB-107         Mental Health and the Definition of “Personal Injury” under Workers’ Compensation Statutes.
PSB-108         The Ability of Arbitration Panels to Compromise When Ruling on Municipal Contract Disputes.
PSB-180         An Increase to the Prevailing Wage Laws for Both New Construction and Remodeling.
PSB-182         Repealing the Prevailing Wage Laws.
PSB-183         Dual Employment and Unemployment Compensation Eligibility.
PSB-428         Protecting Interns From Workplace Harassment and Discrimination.
PSB-432         Workplace Bullying.
PSB-435         Prohibiting Nondisparagement Clauses In Public Employee Separation Agreements.
PSB-798         Creating A Paid Family and Medical Leave System in the State.
PHB-5070      Timetables for Municipal Binding Arbitration.

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