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What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?
With limited exceptions, Connecticut law prohibits employers from advertising employment opportunities in a way which discriminates against individuals based on a protected class status (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 46a-60(a)(6)).
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?
(a) Criminal records and arrests
With limited exceptions, employers are prohibited from inquiring about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-51i(b)). Employers may inquire about such information after the initial employment application.
Employers cannot require an employee or prospective employee to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction the records of which have been erased, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 46b-146, 54-76o and 54-142a. This includes:
- youthful offender adjudications;
- criminal charges that have been dismissed; and
- convictions that have been pardoned.
(b) Medical history
Connecticut has no applicable statute regarding medical history. However, employers should be aware of and comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, both of which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.
(c) Drug screening
Connecticut regulates urinalysis drug testing of prospective and existing employees (see Privacy in the workplace).
Employers may not require a prospective employee to submit to a urinalysis drug test as part of the application process unless:
- the applicant is informed of the drug screening in writing at the time of application;
- the test is conducted in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-51u(a)(1) and (2); and
- the applicant is given a copy of any positive drug test result.
The statute requires that the results of any such drug test be kept confidential.
Individuals who were previously employed by the employer and who are applying for re-employment within 12 months of their termination are considered current employees for purposes of drug testing (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-51t and following).
An employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant or discharge or penalize an employee solely on the basis of such person’s status as a qualifying medical marijuana patient (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 21a-408p(b)(3)).
(d) Credit checks
With limited exceptions, an employer may not require prospective or existing employees to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about:
- his or her credit score;
- credit account balances;
- payment history;
- savings or checking account balances; or
- savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-51tt).
(e) Immigration status
Connecticut has no applicable statute regarding immigration status.
(f) Social media
Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring an applicant to provide his or her user name and password or any other authentication details for a personal online account (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-40x(b)(1)). Personal online accounts include social media accounts (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-40x(a)(5)).
With limited exceptions, during the hiring process employers are prohibited from:
- requesting information about an individual’s child bearing age or plans, familial responsibilities or related information (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 46a-60(a)(9));
- requesting information about an individual’s genetics (Section 46a-60(a)(11)(A)); and
- requiring an individual to take a polygraph test (Section 31-51g(b)(1)).
Wage and hour
What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state?
Title 31 of the Connecticut General Statutes and the applicable regulations are the main sources of wage and hour law.
What is the minimum hourly wage?
The minimum wage in Connecticut is $10.10 per hour (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-58(i) as of January 1 2017).
Minors may be paid a sub-minimum wage (85% of the minimum wage) for the first 200 hours of work. In some circumstances a tip credit may be applied against the minimum wage for certain wait staff and bartenders (Regs., Conn. State Agencies Section 31-62-E1(a)).
What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?
An employee who voluntarily terminates employment must be paid his or her wages in full not later than the next regular pay day. An employee who is involuntarily terminated must be paid in full not later than the next business day after discharge (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-71c(a) and (b)).
An employer may make deductions from the employee’s wages only in certain limited circumstances (see Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-71e).
Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?
An employee who works seven-and-a-half or more consecutive hours is entitled to a 30-minute meal break at some time after the first two hours of work and before the last two hours. The statute provides limited exceptions, including:
- if the employer provides at least 30 or more total minutes of paid rest or meal periods;
- if the employer and employee have entered into a written agreement providing for a different schedule of meal periods; or
- if the employer employs fewer than five employees on a shift in a single place of business.
What are the maximum hour rules?
Employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 in one working week (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-76c).
Employers cannot require employees who work in a commercial occupation or industrial process to work more than six days in one calendar week (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 53-303e(a)).
In certain industries, Connecticut law limits the working weeks of:
- elderly workers, unless they consent;
- handicapped workers, unless they consent and provide a doctor's certificate that working longer hours does not injure their health; and
- disabled veterans, unless they consent and provide a doctor's certificate that working longer hours does not injure their health (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-12(a), 31-13(a) and 31-18(a) and (c)).
With regard to minors under the age of 18, there are numerous restrictions on the types and hours of permitted employment. For example, all minors are prohibited from working in occupations deemed hazardous by the Connecticut Department of Labor (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-23).
The Connecticut Department of Labor maintains a comprehensive list of permitted and prohibited occupations for minors—including permitted and prohibited hours of employment—on its website (see also Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-12, 31-13, 31-18, 31-23 and 31-25).
The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued wage orders establishing minimum hours for which employees in the mercantile and restaurant and hotel industries must be paid if the employer requires them to report to work (Regs., Conn. State Agencies Sections 31-62-D2 and 31-62-E1(b)).
How should overtime be calculated?
A non-exempt employee must be paid at one-and-a-half times his or her regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in one working week. The “regular rate” includes all remuneration paid to the employee, excluding:
- discretionary gifts and bonuses;
- paid time off
- reasonable expense reimbursements;
- contributions to genuine retirement and insurance plans; and
- extra compensation provided by certain premium rates paid for hours worked on certain days or shifts.
For non-exempt delivery drivers or sales merchandisers paid on a base salary and commission basis, the regular rate is one-fortieth of the employee’s weekly pay (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-76b and 31-76c).
What exemptions are there from overtime?
Connecticut recognizes the executive, administrative and professional exemptions (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-58(e)). Connecticut does not recognize the computer professional or highly compensated exemptions.
Connecticut recognizes several other exemptions, including, without limitation:
- drivers and helpers regulated by the federal Department of Transportation;
- announcers, news editors, or chief engineers at radio or television stations;
- outside salespeople, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act;
- certain inside salespeople;
- certain taxicab drivers;
- certain household delivery route salespeople;
- certain automobile salespeople;
- agricultural employees;
- police officers;
- beer delivery truck drivers, unless they are paid hourly; and
- motor vehicle or farm-implement mechanics (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 31-58(e) and 31-76i).
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?
With limited exceptions, an employer must keep records for a period of three years at the employee’s place of employment—unless the Department of Labor allows the employer to keep the records elsewhere. Such records must include, without limitation:
- each employee’s name, home address and occupation;
- total daily and weekly hours worked, including the beginning and ending time of each work period, computed to the nearest unit of 15 minutes;
- overtime wage as a separate item from the basic wages;
- additions to or deductions from wages for each pay period;
- records of wages paid to employees compensated under an incentive plan; and
- gratuities claimed as a credit against the required minimum wage.
For exempt employees, employers must maintain for three years records of each employee's:
- home address;
- total wages paid in each work period;
- dates of payments; and
- pay periods covered by payments (Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-66 and Regs., of Conn. State Agencies Sections 31-60-1, 31-60-2 and 31-60-12).
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