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Substitute Senate Bill No. 456

Public Act No. 02-136

AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION FOR CRIME VICTIMS AND PERSONS WHOSE CRIMINAL RECORDS HAVE BEEN ERASED.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 54-85b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2002):

(a) An employer shall not deprive an employee of [his] employment, penalize or threaten or otherwise coerce [him] an employee with respect thereto, because (1) the employee obeys a legal subpoena to appear before any court of this state as a witness in any criminal proceeding, (2) the employee attends a court proceeding or participates in a police investigation related to a criminal case in which the employee is a crime victim, (3) a restraining order has been issued on the employee's behalf pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended, or (4) a protective order has been issued on the employee's behalf by a court of this state or by a court of another state, provided if issued by a court of another state, the protective order shall be registered in this state pursuant to section 46b-15a. For purposes of this section, "crime victim" means an employee who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional or financial harm as a result of a crime or an employee who is an immediate family member or guardian of (A) a person who suffers such harm and is a minor, physically disabled, as defined in section 46a-51, as amended, or incompetent, or (B) a homicide victim.

(b) Any employer who violates subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of criminal contempt and shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both.

[(b)] (c) If an employer discharges, penalizes or threatens or otherwise coerces an employee in violation of subsection (a) of this section, the employee, [within] not later than ninety days from the occurrence of such action, may bring a civil action for damages and for an order requiring [his] the employee's reinstatement or otherwise rescinding such action. If the employee prevails, [he] the employee shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee to be fixed by the court.

Sec. 2. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2002):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "employer" means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee may 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 section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(c) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) that criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and (3) that any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

(d) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to a prospective employee solely on the basis that the prospective employee had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(e) No employer or an employer's agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

(f) The portion of [a job] an employment application form which contains information concerning the [arrest record of a job] criminal history record of an applicant or employee shall [not be available to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation interviewing such applicant except the members of the personnel department or the person in charge of employment if such company, firm or corporation has no personnel department] only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant.

Approved June 13, 2002