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Employment relationship

State-specific laws

What state-specific laws govern the employment relationship?

Title 31 of the Connecticut General Statutes governs labor law, including:

  • minimum wage;
  • payment of wage; and
  • overtime.

Title 46a of the Connecticut General Statutes contains the state’s anti-discrimination statute, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act. The act is important as it provides broader protection than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and has been construed more liberally by Connecticut state courts. An example of a protected class under the act—which is not available under Title VII—is gender identity or expression.

Who do these cover, including categories of workers?

Connecticut’s Fair Employment Practice Act applies to the state and all political subdivisions and any employer with three or more employees. All employees who work for a covered employer are protected under the act.

Misclassification

Are there state-specific rules regarding employee/contractor misclassification?

Regarding worker compensation, Connecticut courts use the common law right to control test, which focuses on whether the putative employer has the right to control the means and methods used by the worker in the performance of the work (see Hanson v. Trans Gen, Inc. 245 Conn. 613 1998).

Regarding unemployment compensation, the Connecticut Department of Labor uses the statutory ABC test. The ABC test applies three factors, each of which must be met for an individual to be considered an independent contractor (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-222(a)(1)(B)).

Contracts

Must an employment contract be in writing?

Generally, there is no requirement that an employment contract be in writing. However, a contract for a fixed duration must be in writing to satisfy the Statute of Frauds (see Finley v. Aetna Life and Cas Co, 202 Conn. 190 (1987)).

In addition, an employment contract for a real estate broker—often called a listing contract—must be in writing (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 20-325a and see Revere Real Estate, Inc. v. Creator, 186 Conn. 74 (1982)).

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is implied in employment contracts (see Magnan v. Anaconda Indus, Inc., 193 Conn. 558 (1984)).

Are mandatory arbitration agreements enforceable?

Yes.

How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements?

Modifications to existing employment agreements are subject to traditional principles of contract law.

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