Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5071

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST AN EMPLOYER FOR FAILURE TO PAY WAGES OR COMPENSATION.

Vote Date:

3/4/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/18/2014

File No.:

16

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Labor and Public Employees Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To insure that undocumented immigrants are paid what they are contracted by their employers.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

If the employer establishes that they had a good faith belief that the underpayment of wages was in compliance with the law, the full amount of wages or compensation may be allowed by the court.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Submitted

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Megan Fountain, New Haven Workers Association testified that this bill will help many workers recover stolen wages and make the employers libel to pay double the amount of stolen wages. As it is now the fines are small and rarely deters wage theft.

Lori Pelletier, Connecticut AFL-CIO testified in this economy with high employment bad employers are exploiting workers by failing to pay them their proper wages. Higher fines would deter employers from taking risky actions.

Connecticut Communist Party USA submitted testimony that this would provide an incentive to employers to abide by the law and pay employees according to fair labor standards.

James Bhandary-Alexander, New Haven Legal Assistance Association testified that the bill would strengthen wage and hour law enforcement. The bill would require employers who commit wage theft to pay double damages. A firm financial disincentive is needed to deter wage theft.

Foundation for Fair Contracting of Connecticut supports the bill. With over forty complaints over the last two years with the Department of Labor of unscrupulous employers have discovered new and creative ways to exploit the state's workforce. This bill would discourage employers from the practice of not paying their employees their full entitled wages.

Ana Maria Rivera Forastieri, Junta for Progressive Action testified that this bill will address the rampant wage theft that takes place in Connecticut. Workers only recover a fraction of what they owed but doubling the fines would deter employers from violating the law and help workers recover what they are owed.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Submitted

Reported by: Pamela Bianca

Date: 03//21/201403//21/2014