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Domenico Zaino is a partner and co-practice group leader of the firm’s Business and Personal Services Group. He practices primarily in the area of labor and employment law and has extensive experience counseling, representing, and training employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. Nick’s clients range from small to large companies in various industries such as banking, medical, education, manufacturing, engineering, retail, construction, and non-profit. Working closely with C-level executives, in-house counsel, human resource professionals and business owners, Nick assists in managing risk by counseling on compliance and preventative strategies.

On July 1, 2021, nearly 100 new laws took effect in Connecticut. Below is a summary of some key new laws that will affect employers and the workplace.

Minimum Wage Increase—Effective August 1, 2021, Connecticut’s minimum wage increased from $12 per hour to $13 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour on July 1, 2022 and to $15 per hour on June 1, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will be published in the employment cost index, which is computed by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut, the rate will rise in accordance with economic indicators.

Recreational Marijuana—Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older. The new law will eventually permit the retail sale of marijuana, and erase certain marijuana-related convictions and provides employment protections for recreational marijuana use. Employment-related provisions will come into effect July 1, 2022.

Employers may continue to prohibit employees from working under the influence of marijuana, and from possessing or using marijuana while performing duties or on the employer’s premises.  However, beginning July 1, 2022, non-exempt employers (i.e., employers who are subject to the employment-provisions in the Act) may not prohibit the off work use of cannabis or take adverse action against a non-exempt employee (i.e., an employee who is protected under the Act) or a potential employee for a positive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test unless the employer has adopted a policy that states otherwise. Therefore, employers should review and update their drug and alcohol policy, as appropriate.
Continue Reading New Employment Laws in Connecticut

As a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, the CDC now recommends that everyone, including individuals who are fully vaccinated, wear face coverings when indoors in places of substantial or high community transmission. According to the CDC, infections happen only in a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, and the same is true with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence indicates that fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. Thus, the CDC recommends that vaccinated individuals:
Continue Reading CDC Announces Revised Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The end of Connecticut’s legislative session always generates an influx of newly passed bills that affect employers. One such bill that was signed into law by Governor Lamont is Public Act 21-30, “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position.” This law will go into effect October 1, 2021 and requires

Connecticut’s Sexual Harassment Training Deadline Extended to April 19, 2021

The CHRO has announced a third extension of the deadline to provide sexual harassment training for all employees, including supervisors and non-supervisors.  In November 2020, the CHRO had announced that the deadline would be extended for a second time until February 9, 2021.  Now, the

On the first day of his Presidency, President Joseph R. Biden made two major changes at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”.)

First, President Biden terminated the current NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb.  By way of background, the NLRB General Counsel is the agency’s chief attorney and, among other things, determines the

On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) held in a 7-2 decision that employers may exclude birth control from their health care plans if they have moral or religious oppositions to contraception. This decision upheld the Trump Administration’s November 2018 final rules which provide exceptions to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) mandate

Yesterday, March 18, 2020, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that provides many American workers up to 12 weeks of paid FMLA leave and two weeks of paid sick leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. Employers are required to pay these amounts to eligible employees, and

This week, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published its long-awaited rule regarding joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act.

The final rule provides:

  • to be a joint employer, a business must possess and exercise substantial direct and immediate control over one or more essential terms and conditions of employment (“terms and conditions”) of

On January 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may begin using this version of the form immediately and are required to begin using it by April 30, 2020.

The Form I-9 is used by employers to verify the identity

The novel coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, approximately 430 individuals have died as a result of the virus and over 20,700 people have been infected.  Eleven individuals in the United States (as of the date of this writing) have been diagnosed with the virus, including a Massachusetts resident and