Now That They Are Finished: Developments From the 2023 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Employers
CT General Assembly with Flower Bush

The 2023 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly, which concluded on June 7, 2023, was not as groundbreaking as other recent legislative sessions, Many far-reaching bills that emerged from committee were not passed by the legislature.  It is particularly noteworthy that efforts to broadly restrict the use of covenants not to compete for all Connecticut employers, expand paid sick days, and require “schedule predictability” were unsuccessful.  However, the Generally Assembly did pass important bills regarding workers compensation and health insurance coverage for striking workers, along with significant expansions of the restrictions on the use of covenants not to compete in the medical field. 

The following are brief descriptions of some of these employment-related bills.  Please note: We will provide you with further/updated information with respect to these and other bills, including whether any of these bills will be vetoed by the Governor, in a subsequent blog post.


Public Act 23-35 (S.B. No. 913): An Act Expanding Workers' Compensation Coverage for Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries for All Employees.  This Act expands workers' compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder for witnessing certain traumatic events (e.g., certain deaths or maimings) to include all employees as of January 1, 2024; this benefit is currently limited to certain first responders.

Public Act 23-80 (H.B. No. 6721):  An Act Concerning Workers Compensation And Portal-To-Portal Coverage For Telecommunicators. This Act (effective October 1, 2023) expands portal to portal coverage under the Workers’ Compensation Act (currently available for police officers and firefighters) so as to cover telecommunicators.


Public Act 23-145 (H. B. No.  6638): An Act Revising The State's Antidiscrimination Statutes. This Act, which takes effect on July 1, 2023, amends Connecticut General Statutes Section 46a-58, which makes it a discriminatory practice to deprive someone of “any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by Connecticut or federal laws or constitutions, or to cause such a deprivation,” so as to cover discrimination based upon age. This Act further revises the state’s anti-discrimination statues by changing the definition of “sexual orientation” so as to cover “a person’s identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted, including any identity that a person may have previously expressed or is perceived by another person to hold.”


S.B. No. 1035: An Act Concerning Stop Work Orders. This bill, which takes effect on October 1, 2023, expands the ability of the Connecticut Department of Labor to issue stop work orders to include violations of the prevailing wage laws; the bill also increases fines for violations of stop work orders.

Public Act 23-117 (H.B. No. 6549): An Act Concerning Modification of and Repealing Obsolete Provisions and Statutes Relevant to the Labor Department. As the title suggests, this Act (which took effect upon passage) repeals numerous obsolete provisions and statutes relevant to the Labor Department.


S.B. No. 228: An Act Concerning Employees' Loss Of Health Care Coverage As A Result Of A Labor Dispute: This bill, which takes effect on October 1, 2023, provides for a special enrollment period on Connecticut’s health insurance exchange for individuals whose health care coverage is terminated by an employer as a result of a labor dispute.


S.B. No. 984 (“An Act Accelerating The State Hiring Process”) will provide greater discretion to the Department of Administrative Services (“DAS”) in setting the process used by state agencies to make decisions on hiring employees for the state employee classified service,  by: 1) allowing appointing authorities to hire any applicant whom the authority finds is the most qualified and suitable for the position, from either the new candidate list or any candidate list that is in the “same or comparable class” if the appointing authority determines that doing so would maintain operational efficiency and productivity or would comply with a lawful order, with any pre-employment check/requirements to be done during the applicant’s working test period; 2) allowing appointing authorities to begin the screening process as soon as the applicable job opening is posted, and 3) requiring appointing authorities to notify DAS whenever both a position becomes vacant due to a promotion of the previous holder of the position and the appointing authority determines that the position should be filled.


Public Act 23-97 (S.B. 9): An Act Concerning Health And Wellness For Connecticut Residents. This omnibus bill contains significant provisions governing the use of covenants not to compete in certain medical professions.  Currently, the law restricts the use of such covenants with respect to physicians.  The Act changes the definition of “primary site” (in terms of geographical limitations on such covenants) so as to ban any geographic limitation that is more than 15 miles from any single office, facility or location where the physician practices, “as mutually agreed by the parties and defined in the covenant.”  The Act further provides that a covenant not to compete that is entered into, amended, extended or renewed on or after October 1, 2023, shall not be enforceable if 1) the physician who is a party to the agreement does not agree to a proposed material change to the compensation terms of such contract or agreement prior to or at the time of its extension or renewal, and 2) the contract or agreement expires and is not renewed by the employer or the employment or contractual relationship is terminated by the employer, unless such employment or contractual relationship is terminated by the employer for cause. This new provision does not apply to a covenant not to compete that is entered into between a physician and a group practice of more than 35 physicians the majority ownership of which is comprised of physicians. 

More importantly, the Act places restrictions similar (if not identical) to those applicable to physicians on covenants not to compete for advance practice registered nurses and physician assistants, effective for all such covenants entered into, amended, extended or renewed on or after October 1, 2023.

Additional details and analysis of this Act will be posted to this blog and Pullman’s Connecticut Health Law blog following Governor Lamont’s signing of the bill.   


S.B. No. 1123:  An Act Amending Codification Of Prevailing Wage Contract Rates.  This bill, which takes effect on July 1, 2023, provides that with respect to residential construction projects covered by the state’s prevailing wage statutes, the Commissioner of Labor must use the rates set in the collective bargaining agreements covering the same work in the same trade or occupation in the town where the project is being done; when there are two or much applicable agreements, the Commissioner is to use the agreement “of historical jurisdiction” (whatever that term might mean).  If there is no such applicable collective bargaining agreement in the town at issue, the Commissioner is to use the applicable prevailing wage rate set by the U.S. Department of Labor.  These new requirements already exist for highway and building projects.    


S.B. No. 1221: An Act Concerning Enforcement Of Violations Of The Freedom Of Information Act. This bill, which takes effect on October 1, 2023, increases from $1,000 to $5,000 the maximum civil penalty that the Freedom of Information Commission (“FOIC”) may impose for violations of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) where the FOIC finds that the denial of FOIA rights was without reasonable grounds. In addition, the bill authorizes the FOIC to issue such fines where the FOIC finds that a public agency is engaging in 1) a practice or pattern of conduct that constitutes an obstruction of any right conferred by FOIA, or 2) reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct in delaying or denying responses to public records requests.


Special Act 23-19 (S.B. No. 1124): An Act Concerning A Study Of Pathways To State Employment. This Act, which took effect upon passage, requires the Commissioner of Administrative Services to conduct a study regarding the hiring practices of state agencies for positions in state service. Such study shall include, but need not be limited to: 1) the feasibility of eliminating requirements for college degrees for certain appointments to state classified services; and 2) the feasibility of establishing a program to provide applicants with alternative routes to appointment to state classified service. The Commissioner is then to submit a report with the findings of such study by January 1, 2024 to the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee.

Special Act 23-3 (S.B. No. 805): An Act Concerning The Labor Department And Data Breaches. This Act requires the Commissioner of Labor to conduct a study regarding data breaches and false unemployment claims suffered by the Connecticut Department of Labor. The Commissioner is then to submit a report with the findings of such study by January 1, 2024 to the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee.

Special Act 23-6 (H.B. No. 5856): An Act Concerning A Study Of State Marshals' Health Benefits.  This Act requires the State Marshal Commission to conduct a study of state marshals' health benefits. The Commission is then to submit a report with the results of such study (including recommendations for legislation) to the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee by January 1, 2024.

Please contact any of Pullman & Comley's Labor and Employment Law attorneys should you have any questions

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