Labor Committee passes earned leave, pay equity and fair wage bills

March 20, 2018

Labor Committee co-chairs state Sen. Ed Gomes, D-Bridgeport, and state Rep. Robyn Porter, D-New Haven, applauded committee passage of several pieces of legislation that will help create economic security for workers, women and families across Connecticut. Democrats in the Labor Committee voted to pass earned family and medical leave, pay equity and raising the minimum wage.

“As lawmakers, it is our job to champion the causes that foster a thriving economy and sustainable jobs for all. Today the Labor and Public Employees Committee took a step toward creating equitable opportunities for everyone by passing legislation out of committee that would close the gender wage gap, raise the minimum wage and establish an earned family and medical leave system. These bills are both family-friendly and business-friendly,” said Porter. “This is why I am hopeful that these bills will garner the necessary support to get them passed in the House and the Senate, and then on to the governor’s desk to be signed in to law. The time is long past due and I am pleased that they are well on their way through the process because the passage of these bills will certainly create a Connecticut that we can all be proud of.”

Paid Family and Medical Leave
Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 5387 each provide for up to 12 weeks of paid leave to qualifying employees, at 100 percent of salary up to a cap of $1,000 per week. The bills each passed with seven Democrats voting in favor and six Republicans voting against.

Pay Equity
Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 5386 would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s previous wages, preventing that employee from inquiring about another employee’s salary, or requiring employees to sign a waiver denying their right to disclose wages. The bills both passed unanimously.

Raising the Minimum Wage
House Bill 5388 seeks to gradually increase the minimum wage in Connecticut from its current $10.10 to $15.00 an hour over the next three years; after that the minimum wage would be indexed to rise with the rate of inflation. It passed on a 7-6 party line vote.

All of the bills will head to the House or Senate.