Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 6914

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 4815

 

*_____HB06914LAB___031017____*

Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

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

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2017) (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Covered employee" means any person performing janitorial or building maintenance services in or about a covered location. "Covered employee" does not include any person providing janitorial or building maintenance service in or around any part of a covered location solely to temporarily replace a covered employee who is taking covered leave;

(2) "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 or contracts or subcontracts for the services of at least one covered employee, (B) owns or operates a covered location, or (C) leases any portion of a covered location, and (i) directly employs at least one covered employee, or (ii) contracts or subcontracts for the services of at least one covered employee;

(3) "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) any written request initiated by the covered employee;

(4) "Covered location" means (A) a covered office location 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, except where the janitorial contract for that location is intended to create work opportunities for people with disabilities, and where the procurement and award for such contracts is in conformity with state and federal statutes and regulations specific to that purpose, including, but not limited to, public acts 77-405, 13-233 and 14-188 and 41 USC Chapter 85, as amended from time to time;

(5) "Covered office location" 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 addresses, except where the janitorial contract for that location is intended to create work opportunities for people with disabilities, and where the procurement and award for such contracts is in conformity with state and federal statutes and regulations specific to that purpose, including, but not limited to, public acts 77-405, 13-233 and 14-188 and 41 USC Chapter 85, as amended from time to time;

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

(7) "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; 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, 2018, 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) a complaint with the Labor Commissioner, or (B) a civil suit against the employer 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) The Labor Commissioner shall administer this section within the available appropriations.

(f) It shall be a violation of this section for any covered employer to: (1) Violate any provisions of subsection (b) or (c) or this section; (2) discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any covered employee because that employee filed a complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this section, or has testified or is about to testify or otherwise cooperate in any such proceeding; (3) hinder or delay the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative in the enforcement of this section; (4) refuse to admit the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative to any place of employment upon demand; or (5) 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) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a covered employee from filing a civil suit against an employer in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate, including, but not limited to: (1) Reinstatement, (2) back pay of not less than the hourly rate of pay received by the covered employee immediately prior to the violation of this section multiplied by the number of compensated hours below the minimum workweek the covered employee was provided each workweek in which a violation occurred, as well as interest calculated in accordance with the provisions of section 31-265 of the general statutes from the date the wages should have been received had the wages been paid in a timely manner, (3) actual medical costs incurred during the period of time the employee was entitled to and denied the minimum number of hours required by this section and during any period in which the employee is not working due to a violation by a covered employer described in subsection (f) of this section, and (4) liquidated damages in the amount of one hundred dollars per day.

(h) An action to recover damages under this section may be maintained in any court of competent jurisdiction in the state by any one or more persons aggrieved by a violation of this section, for or on behalf of the covered employee and other covered employees who are similarly situated.

(i) If any provision of this section is determined to be invalid or incapable of being enforced, such provision shall be excluded to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability. All other provisions of this section shall remain in full force and effect.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2017

New section

LAB

Joint Favorable