Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5371

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 1543

 

*01543_______LAB*

Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING A MINIMUM WORKWEEK FOR PERSONS PERFORMING BUILDING MAINTENANCE SERVICES.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2016) (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Building maintenance service" means work performed in connection with the care or maintenance of buildings, including, but not limited to, work customarily performed by cleaners, porters, janitors, handypersons and security guards;

(2) "Covered employee" means any person performing building maintenance service in or about a covered location. "Covered employee" does not include any person providing building maintenance service in or about a covered location on a temporary basis to replace another covered employee who is taking covered leave;

(3) "Covered employer" means any person, firm, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, corporation, limited liability company or other entity, including the state or any political subdivision thereof, that (A) directly employs at least one covered employee, (B) contracts or subcontracts for the services of at least one covered employee, (C) owns or operates a covered location, or (D) leases any portion of a covered location and (i) directly employees at least one covered employee, or (ii) contracts or subcontracts for the services of at least one covered employee;

(4) "Covered leave" means any paid or unpaid temporary leave voluntarily taken by a covered employee pursuant to (A) any applicable state or federal law, (B) any written employee handbook, or (C) written request initiated by the covered employee;

(5) "Covered location" means (A) an office building having an area of not less than one hundred thousand square feet, (B) a private or public institution of higher education, or (C) a museum, as defined in section 11-80 of the general statutes;

(6) "Minimum workweek" means the minimum number of compensated hours provided to a covered employee in any workweek, except for weeks in which the covered employee is taking covered leave;

(7) "Office building" means (A) an industrial, commercial or business facility, (B) a continuous, commonly owned office park, or (C) a group of office buildings that (i) have common ownership or management, and (ii) are contiguous or have consecutive address; and

(8) "Workweek" means a fixed, regularly recurring period of one hundred sixty-eight hours or seven consecutive twenty-four-hour periods.

(b) On and after January 1, 2017, the minimum workweek for a covered employee shall be thirty hours per workweek.

(c) Each covered employer shall provide notice to each covered employee (1) of the entitlement to a minimum workweek, and (2) that the covered employee has a right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner for any violation of this section. A covered employer may comply with the provisions of this section by displaying a poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to covered employees, at the covered location and the covered employer's place of business that contains the information required by this section in both English and Spanish. The Labor Commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish additional requirements concerning the means by which covered employers shall provide such notice.

(d) Any covered employee aggrieved by a violation of the provisions of subsection (b) or (c) of this section may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Upon receipt of any such complaint, said commissioner may hold a hearing. After the hearing, any covered employer who is found by the Labor Commissioner, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have violated the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars for the first violation and up to one thousand dollars for any subsequent violation. Any covered employer who is found by the Labor Commissioner, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have violated the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of up to one hundred dollars for each day that such covered employer fails to post notice, provided such penalty shall not exceed five hundred dollars. The Labor Commissioner may award the covered employee all appropriate relief, including, but not limited to, reinstatement, payment of back wages, any medical costs incurred during the period of time the covered employee was entitled to and denied the minimum workweek, liquidated damages in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars per day for each day the covered employer was in violation of the provisions of this section and reasonable attorney's fees. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the commissioner may appeal the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes.

(e) It shall be a violation of this section for any covered employer to discharge or cause to be discharged, or in any other manner discriminate against any covered employee because such covered employee has (1) filed any charge, or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding, under or related to this section; (2) given, or is about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this section; or (3) testified, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this section.

(f) It shall be a violation of this section for any covered employer to (1) hinder or delay the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative in the performance of the commissioner's or the commissioner's authorized representative's duties in the enforcement of this section; or (2) refuse to submit to the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative any reports or refuse to make available to the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative any records required by him or her in investigating the covered employer for purposes of this section.

(g) The Labor Commissioner shall administer this section within available appropriations.

(h) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any covered employee performing building maintenance service at a covered location pursuant to a contract for building maintenance service that (1) is intended to create janitorial work job opportunities for persons with a disability, as defined in section 4a-82 of the general statutes, and (2) is in conformity with state and federal statutes and regulations regarding the employment of persons with a disability.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To institute a minimum workweek of thirty hours for certain individuals who perform building maintenance service.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]