October 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Upcoming Employer Requirements for CT Paid Family Medical Leave

What happened?
In June 2019, Governor Lamont signed the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) bill into law, creating requirements that employers will need to abide by in the coming months. 

What are the details?
The Paid Leave Authority has created a timeline for employers to follow to ensure the PFML program is introduced smoothly.

  • On November 1, 2020, employers with at least one employee within the state of Connecticut will need to register with the Paid Leave Authority.
  • On January 1, 2021, employers will start administering payroll deductions of 0.5% per employee. Contributions are based only on earnings up to the Social Security cap.
  • On January 1, 2022, employees will be allowed to apply for paid family leave compensation.

The Paid Leave Authority will publish literature in the future meant to help employers and employees understand all aspects of the Connecticut Paid Leave program. The Paid Leave Authority will be posting information soon about which file types are accepted by the Authority to accept fund contributions, stating that at a minimum ACH files will be accepted. The Paid Leave Authority is still working with payroll companies to establish the process by which deductions and payments will be remitted.

Employers will be able to petition to opt out of the state’s program. To qualify they will need to participate in a private plan that will provide at least the same monetary benefit for employees and be usable for the same reasons. If employers use a private plan, their contributions will instead go to that private plan instead of being sent to the state.

An employer guide published by the Paid Leave Authority can be found here. The Authority also published a video, found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the following content to know what they are required to do:

  1. Make payroll deductions.
  2. Submit employee contributions.
  3. Communicate with the Paid Leave Authority and Employees about Leave Requests.
  4. Confirm with Third Party Payroll Administrator.
  5. Receive Copy of Payment & Report.
  6. Notify Employees.

August 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Connecticut Wage Increase Set on September 1, 2020

What happened?
Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour as of September 1, 2020.

What are the details?
On May 28, 2019, Connecticut Governor Lamont signed Public Act 19-4, An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage, which gradually increases the minimum wage in Connecticut over the next several years. The first increase took place on October 1, 2019, when the minimum wage increased to $11.00 per hour.

The next increase will take effect on September 1, 2020, when Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should consult with their payroll specialist to ensure that all employee wages remain in compliance.

July 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Summary of Laws with Upcoming Effective Dates

Sexual Harassment Training
By October 1, 2020, employers must provide sexual harassment training as follows:

  • For employers with three or more employees, employers must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees.
  • For employers with fewer than three employees, employers must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors.
  • New employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, must receive training within six months of their start date. However, employers may request a 90-day extension from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by explaining how current COVID-19 restrictions have prevented training.
  • If existing employees were provided training after October 1, 2018, employers are not required to provide this training again to such employees. Employers must provide subsequent training at least once every ten years.

June 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Summary of State Laws (Q1 & Q2 2020)

Sexual Harassment Training
By October 1, 2020, employers must provide sexual harassment training as follows: For employers with three or more employees, employers must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees. For employers with fewer than three employees, employers must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors.

New employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, must receive training within six months of their start date. However, employers may request a 90-day extension from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by explaining how current COVID-19 restrictions have prevented training.

If existing employees were provided training after October 1, 2018, employers are not required to provide this training again to such employees. Employers must provide subsequent training at least once every 10 years.

April 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

Essential Workers

What happened?
The governor signed an Executive Order effective April 20, 2020 at 8 p.m. regarding the required use of face masks in the workplace.

What are the details?
All Essential Employers

  • Employees are required to wear a mask or other cloth material that covers their mouth and nose, except when the employee needs to eat or drink. If an employee is in a segregated space, they may remove their masks. All employees must wear the masks upon entry and exit from the workplace, or if they are in any common areas.
  • Employees who have underlying health conditions that could be aggravated due to the use of a mask may choose to not wear a mask. However, medical documentation should be provided to the employer.

Retail Stores

  • Employees shall wear a mask or other cloth material which covers their mouth/nose while the store is open to customers.
  • All customers are required to wear masks while inside the retail facility (except for medical conditions, children under two years of age, or the parent is unable to place a mask safely on an older child).

What do employers need to do?
Essential employers should provide face masks to all employees. If unable to provide face masks, the employer should issue materials and directions per the CDC to create their own masks or compensate staff for money spent on materials to make their own masks.

Resources
https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Safe-Workplace-Rules-for-Essential-Employers

https://www.ctemploymentlawblog.com/2020/04/articles/state-makes-masks-mandatory-in-the-workplace-including-retail-stores/

https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7BB.pdf?la=en

January 2020 Connecticut HR Legal Updates

New Restaurant Wage Law Codifies “80/20 Rule” for Tipped Employees

What happened?
Connecticut has enacted compromise legislation that attempts to clarify how restaurants and other hospitality industry employers must pay workers who receive tips in customer service jobs that also require untipped work. The new law, Public Act 19-1, directs the state’s Labor Commissioner to adopt regulations codifying the so-called “80/20 rule” and to conduct random wage and hour audits of restaurants to ensure wage and hour compliance. It also restricts the right of employees to bring future class actions against restaurants for alleged violation of wage rules. It is not entirely clear when the regulation imposing the 80/20 rule will become effective in Connecticut. The Labor Department is expected to post its intent to adopt the proposed regulation on April 1, 2020, but the final regulation will not become effective until after a comment and hearing process, review by the state attorney general, and approval by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee.

What are the details?
Section 31-62-E4:

  1. The job must be one in which tips have customarily constituted part of the employee’s remuneration and the employee must be made aware of this when hired;
  2. The amount of gratuities claimed by the employer as “tip credit” toward the state minimum wage must be recorded as a separate item in the employee’s wage record on a weekly basis; and
  3. The employer must have and maintain substantial evidence, such as a statement signed by the employee that the amount of tips claimed was in fact received by the employee.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should make every effort to comply with the specific requirements of Section 31-62-E4 until the new regulation actually becomes effective.

Article: https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/connecticuts-new-restaurant-wage-law-codifies-8020-rule-tipped