Each year we track and then report on actions taken by the Connecticut legislature that effect employers in the state.
Governor Malloy opened the Connecticut General Assembly in February by urging the legislature to raise the minimum wage, broaden a paid sick-day law, address sexual harassment and take a stand on pay equity.
And expectations were high that action would be taken in a number of these areas.
Surprisingly, only the pay equity bill, which places Connecticut among a growing number of states that bar employers from asking applicants about their pay history, cleared the legislature and will reach the governor’s desk.
A bill called the “Times Up Act,” meant to overhaul sexual harassment and sexual assault laws, passed the Senate, but died in the House.
The failure to pass legislation raising the $10.10 minimum wage was the result in part of a tiny Democratic majority, poor tactical choices by sponsors of the bill, and an unwillingness by leaders in either chamber to bring the matter to a vote.
The original bill would have been among the most aggressive in the nation. It called for raising the minimum wage to $15 in three significant steps: from $10.10 to $12 in 2019, to $13.50 in 2020, and to $15 in 2021. A national campaign for a universal $15 minimum wage is currently aiming for 2024.
The advocates for increases offered two compromises. One compromise would have extended the timetable for getting to $15 by two years, from 2021 to 2023.
A more modest proposal would have raised the minimum by one dollar in each of the next two years. Backers say they think passage was likely in the House if leaders had called a vote.
If you are an employer in Connecticut and need guidance on matters of labor and employment law, contact the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale. We do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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