At the beginning of July, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law two important new employment laws. First, he signed Public Act 11-52, An Act Mandating Employers Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees, the first of its kind to be passed by a state. This new statute orders employers with fifty or more employees who do not already provide at least five days a year of paid leave to provide up to five days a year of paid sick time. Clearly, not every employer is covered. In addition, not every type of employee is covered (even for covered employers), since employees are not eligible for paid sick time until they have worked for a total of 680 hours. Still, Connecticut is the first state to mandate paid sick time in any form, and this is a very significant development.
Connecticut also became the fourteenth state (plus DC for a total of fifteen state and state-like jurisdictions) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. Public Act 11-55, An Act Concerning Discrimination is the statute. Connecticut prohibits discrimination in a variety of contexts outside of employment as well, from housing to provision of utilities, and it added gender identity or expression to most if not all of these. Connecticut also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but that status is not as broadly protected as the new addition.