Use the Lexology Navigator tool to compare the answers in this article with those from 20+ other jurisdictions.
What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?
Connecticut employers must include an equal employment opportunity statement in all employment ads. Under Connecticut law, employers are explicitly prohibited from advertising employment opportunities:
“in such a manner as to restrict such employment so as to discriminate against individuals because of their race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness” (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(a)(6)).
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?
(a) Criminal records and arrests
Under Connecticut law, a job applicant need not disclose the existence of any:
- arrest, criminal charge, or conviction whose records have been erased;
- criminal records subject to erasure; or
- criminal records that have been erased.
All employment application forms that include questions concerning the criminal history of an applicant must contain a notice in clear and conspicuous language that the applicant need not disclose the foregoing information. Examples of criminal records subject to erasure include records pertaining to:
- a finding of delinquency or that a child is a member of a family with service needs;
- an adjudication as a youth offender;
- a dismissed criminal charge;
- a criminal charge for which the individual was found not guilty; or
- a conviction for which the individual received an absolute pardon.
Employers should also be aware of and follow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance regarding background checks.
(b) Medical history
Connecticut has no specific statute which addresses requests for medical history during the hiring process. Employers must comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and should not discriminate against job applicants on the basis of any protected status recognized by state or federal law.
(c) Drug screening
Connecticut has an extensive drug testing statutory scheme which permits pre-employment drug screenings, but forbids random post-employment drug tests with a few narrow exceptions (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51t et seq.). Violation of the statute can result in severe penalties. Under the statute, employers cannot require a prospective employee to submit to a urinalysis drug test unless:
- the prospective employee is informed in writing at the time of application of the employer’s intent to conduct the drug test;
- the test is conducted in accordance with the requirements of law; and
- the prospective employee is given a copy of any positive urinalysis drug test result.
The results of any drug test are confidential and should be disclosed only to necessary employees of the employer.
After an applicant is hired and is an employee, employers cannot perform random drug testing, unless the employee holds a position designated as safety sensitive by the labor commissioner. An employer may require an employee to submit to a drug test if the it has reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs at work. Employees who leave their employment and are rehired within one year are to be treated as current employees under the statute, not prospective employees.
(d) Credit checks
In addition to complying with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, Connecticut employers must comply with Sections 31-51tt of the Connecticut General Statutes. This statute prohibits employers from requiring that employees and prospective employees consent to requests for credit reports that contain their credit scores, credit account balances, payment histories, savings or checking account balances, or account numbers as a condition of employment. The statute provides a number of exceptions, including for individuals:
- in managerial positions who set the direction or control of the business;
- who have fiduciary responsibilities to the employer;
- who have access to personal or financial information which is not customarily provided; and
- who have access to confidential proprietary business information.
(e) Immigration status
(f) Social media
Connecticut has no specific statute which addresses the appropriate use of social media during the hiring process. Common law invasion of privacy principles presumably apply.
During the hiring process, Connecticut employers are prohibited from making inquiries based on an individual’s membership in a protected class and cannot request or require information relating to a prospective employee’s child-bearing age or plans, pregnancy, the function of the individual’s reproductive system, use of birth control methods, or familial responsibilities, unless such information is directly related to a bona fide occupational qualification or need. Employers are also prohibited from requesting or requiring genetic information from a person seeking employment.
Connecticut law also prohibits the use of polygraphs during the hiring process, with limited exceptions.
Wage and hour
What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state?
State statutes and regulations govern wage and hour in Connecticut.
What is the minimum hourly wage?
The minimum wage in Connecticut is currently $9.15 per hour. On January 1 2016 it will increase to $9.60 per hour. On January 1 2017 it will increase to $10.10 per hour.
What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?
An employee who leaves his or her employment voluntarily must be paid his or her final wages in full no later than the next regularly scheduled payday. When an employer discharges an employee, the employee must be paid in full no later than the next business day. Employers may not take deductions from wages (regularly or on termination of employment), unless:
- the deductions are specifically authorized by federal or state law;
- the employee has authorized the deductions in writing on a form approved by the labor commissioner; or
- the employee has authorized the deductions in writing for healthcare.
Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?
Under Connecticut law, most employees who work at least seven and a half hours are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal period at some point after the first two hours of their shift and before the last two hours of their shift.
What are the maximum hour rules?
Unless exempt, employees must be paid overtime at one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in any working week. Overtime exemptions under Connecticut law are not identical to exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
How should overtime be calculated?
The calculation of overtime under Connecticut law is similar to that under federal law. The regular rate includes all remuneration paid to the employee, except:
- discretionary gifts and bonuses;
- expense reimbursements;
- retirement and insurance premium contributions by the employer; and
- premium rates paid for holidays (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76b).
What exemptions are there from overtime?
Connecticut recognizes the following classes of employees as exempt from overtime:
- drivers and helpers regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission or the federal Department of Transportation;
- radio and television announcers, news editors, and chief engineers;
- bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees, as defined in the Connecticut Department of Labor regulations;
- outside salespersons;
- certain inside salespersons;
- certain taxi drivers;
- household delivery salespersons delivering bakery and dairy products to consumers;
- automobile salespersons; and
- agricultural employees (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76i).
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?
Connecticut imposes no payroll or payment recordkeeping requirements beyond those required under federal law. However, Connecticut has a statute relating to personnel files (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-128a et seq.), which regulates the disclosure of personnel file materials to employees and former employees and requires that employees be notified of their right to place statements in their files responding to negative comments by the employer.
Click here to view the full article.