Good morning. We may be in the dog days of summer, but there still are some public policy issues the Waterbury Regional Chamber believes you should be updated on.
First, on Friday, August 14, Gov Ned Lamont issued another Executive Order, this one focused on safe workplace rules for essential employees. You can find the order here. Among the updated guidelines is one stating that any employee who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition “must provide documentation to their employer.” Otherwise, the order states, each employee is required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while in the workplace. The order also requires employers to provide masks for their employees. We strongly recommend that you review the executive order for all of its provisions.
The Chamber also reminds you that the state’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase once again. The rate rose to $11 per hour on October 1, 2019, and will increase to $12 per hour on September 1, 2020. It is scheduled to increase three more times: to $13/hour on August 1, 2021; to $14/hour on July 1, 2022, and finally to $15/hour on June 1, 2023. While a provision to delay or suspend an increase is included in the law that set the schedule for increases, the criteria has not been met and the increase is expected to take place as scheduled.
Lastly, a state law approved last year requires employers of any size to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training for all employees, not just for supervisors as was previously required. All employees must receive the training by October 1, 2020. Executive Order 7DDD allowed employers to request a 90-day extension of the deadline by filing a formal request with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Requests filed by September 9, 2020, for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic were likely to be granted; requests filed after that date may not be approved. Requests may be submitted to CHRO.Questions@ct.gov.
The Chamber plans to present a Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Webinar on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at a time and fee to be determined. The training will be conducted by an attorney from the law firm Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey. Complete details will be available soon.