Commerce Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5274

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS AND DISCRIMINATORY HIRING PRACTICES.

Vote Date:

3/20/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/27/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Commerce Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill prohibits employers, employment agencies, and temporary help services from discriminating against unemployed individuals in the hiring process. Employers are prohibited from publishing a job announcement stating that unemployed individuals are disqualified or will not be considered, disqualifying an individual solely on their unemployed status, and requesting that an employment agency not refer unemployed individuals.

The substitute creates new language, whereas the original bill modified the statutes regarding discriminatory hiring practices within the statutes of governing the Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Todd Berch, CT AFL-CIO: Mr. Berch testified that the lone fact that someone is unemployed should not prohibit an opportunity for employment and urges support for the bill.

Eric Gjede, Assistant Counsel, CBIA: Mr. Gjede testified that the “CBIA supports the intent of HB 5274”. He states that “the committee can protect the unemployed from this type of discrimination without designating them as a protected class in the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) statutes”. Imposing fines on employers that post ads discriminating in this manner is acceptable, but subjecting businesses to a CHRO investigation can take months and thousands of dollars, “event if the business is innocent”. Attached to his testimony is language the CBIA hopes the committee considers instead of the original language of the bill

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Tanya Hughes, Executive Director, Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities: Ms. Hughes submitted testimony on the original bill, stating that HB 5054 addresses the issue at hand in a better manner than HB 5274. “The Commission the language of the bill as presently drafted presents a number of challenges” and would be happy to work with the Commerce Committee to create substitute language.

Reported by: Mark Vanderhoof, Assistant Clerk

Date: 3-24-14