Connecticut Mandates Paid Sick Leave and Bars Pre-Employment Credit Checks

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With Democrats fully in control of both legislative houses and the governorship of a union-friendly state for the first time in more than a decade, two new laws have been enacted that place Connecticut at the leading edge of the current progressive agenda. First, in June of this year, Governor Daniel Malloy signed the first-in-the-nation mandatory sick leave law at the state level, joining the cities of San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee in requiring that paid sick leave be granted to most non-exempt employees who meet minimal requirements. Now, Governor Malloy also has signed into law an act that forbids preemployment credit checks in Connecticut except where required by law or when limited exceptions are met.

Paid Sick Leave Law

Public Act No. 11-52, Connecticut’s newly minted mandatory paid sick leave law, will become effective on January 1, 2012.

Covered Employers. The law will apply to any person, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, corporation or other entity that has 50 or more employees in the State of Connecticut during any quarter of the previous year, measured each January 1. Certain manufacturers and nationally chartered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that provide recreation, child care and educational services are exempted.

Eligible Workers. Each covered employer must provide paid sick leave to each of its service workers in Connecticut. A “service worker” is any employee paid on an hourly basis who is primarily engaged in a kind of occupation identified in the Act. These include, but are not limited to, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, cashiers and retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, child care workers, pharmacists, dental hygienists and assistants, food service managers, social workers, secretaries and administrative assistants, computer operators and librarians.

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