23 Jun

June 2021 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Posted at

9:28pm

in

Connecticut Expands Breastfeeding Accommodation Requirements

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Connecticut

What happened?
On June 4, 2021, Governor Lamont signed House Bill 5158 (HB 5158) into law.

What are the details?
The new bill, effective October 1, 2021, guarantees an employee’s right to breastfeed or express breast milk at the workplace during their meal or break periods. Additionally, the employer will need to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express breast milk in private.

The room or other location will need to meet the following requirements: 

  • It must be free from intrusion and shielded from the public while the employee expresses breast milk;
  • It must include or be situated near a refrigerator or employee-provided portable cold storage device in which the employee can store breast milk; and
  • It must have access to an electrical outlet.

The new requirements will apply to the extent that they do not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer’s business. Undue hardship is described as “any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to facts such as the size of the business, its financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation.”

The bill can be read here.

An article on the bill can also be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the above law, and update their workplace policies as needed to ensure compliance with the new law.

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Connecticut Pay Equity Act Passed

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Connecticut

What happened?
On June 7, 2021, Governor Lamont signed House Bill 6380 into law.

What are the details?
The bill will be active starting October 1, 2021, and requires employers to disclose the “wage range” for vacant positions to employees and prospective employees and modifies prohibition against pay discrimination based on sex.

The wage range is defined in the law as the range of wages an employer anticipates relying on when setting wages for a position, and may include reference to any applicable pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, the actual range of wages for those employees currently holding comparable positions or the employer’s budgeted amount for the position. The law does not require an employer to disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee.

In addition to any preexisting restrictions, the new law makes it unlawful for an employer to:

  • Fail or refuse to provide an applicant for employment the wage range for a position for which the applicant is applying, upon the earliest of the applicant’s request, or prior to or at the time the applicant is made an offer of compensation.
  • Fail or refuse to provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position upon the hiring of the employee, or a change in the employee’s position with the employer, or the employee’s first request for a wage range.

Additionally, the new law modifies the prohibition against pay discrimination on the basis of sex by paying wages at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for comparable work on a job. Determining whether work is comparable requires a review of various factors including “a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility.” The new law makes clear that geographic location, credentials, skills, education, and training may be bona fide factors other than sex upon which employers may make compensation decisions.

The bill can be read here.

Articles on the bill can also be read here and here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the information above and start preparing to make any necessary changes to their pay practices.

 

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