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It is hard to believe that we are almost three weeks into 2023. As CT employers assess the road ahead, these are some of the new and not-so-new employment laws to stay on top of in the coming months.
- Clean Slate Law. On January 1, 2023, CT saw the start of the implementation of the so-called “Clean Slate Law”. The law provides for automatic erasure of certain enumerated criminal records after a specified time period following conviction. Employers are prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s erased criminal records or deny employment based on an applicant’s erased criminal records. An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language, notifying the applicant that he or she is not required to disclose the existence of any record which has been erased pursuant to the Clean Slate Law. Employers should not only scrub their employment applications of unlawful queries, but should train hiring managers on this new law, so that inappropriate questions are not asked during interviews.
- Minimum Wage Increases. Signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont in 2019, the law provides for a scheduled increase of minimum wage to $15 an hour on July 1, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2024, the “minimum fair wage” is set to be adjusted by the percentage change in the employment cost index as calculated by the US Department of Labor.
- Recreational Adult-Use Cannabis. Effective July 1, 2022, An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis prohibits CT employers from disciplining current employees or denying employment to prospective applicants based on lawful off-duty recreational marijuana use, with some notable exceptions, including, e.g., when such hiring or failure to take adverse employment action would put the employer in violation of federal law or contract, or when the employer is considered “exempted” under the statute. The law does not prohibit employers from maintaining alcohol and drug-free workplaces and allows employee discipline and other adverse actions based on articulable signs of impairment while on the job.
- Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”). With amendments effective in October 2022, the law requires employers with one or more employees to provide a reasonable leave of absence for reasons relating to domestic violence and otherwise prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on an individual’s status as a domestic violence victim. Employers must also post this notice in the workplace.
As always, Woltz & Folkinshteyn, P.C. welcomes your questions about this and any other employment concerns that you may have.