Connecticut Employment Law Update – June 2016

Connecticut

Expansion of Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act

On June 7, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (S.B. 262) expanding the reasons an eligible employee may take leave under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA). Pursuant to the bill, in addition to the reasons currently listed in the CTFMLA, eligible employees may take leave due to a qualifying exigency (as defined by federal FMLA regulations) arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in the armed forces.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read CT S.B. 262

Use of Payroll Cards

On June 7, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (S.B. 211) regarding the use of payroll cards by employers. Provided certain conditions are met, the bill allows employers to:

  • Pay employees using payroll cards; and
  • Provide certain wage and hour information to employees electronically.

The law goes into effect on October 1, 2016.

Read CT S.B. 211

Mandated Health Coverage – Mammograms

On June 2, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (H.B. 5233) regarding insurance coverage for mammograms.

Effective January 1, 2017, the law requires certain Connecticut health insurance policies to cover, at the option of the covered woman, mammograms provided by breast tomosynthesis. Breast tomosynthesis is a three-dimensional mammographic method. By law, such policies must cover baseline mammograms for women age 35 through 39, and annual mammograms for women age 40 or older.

The law applies to:

  • Individual or group health insurance policies that cover:
    • Basic hospital expenses;
    • Basic medical-surgical expenses;
    • Major medical expenses; or
    • Hospital or medical services, including those provided under an HMO plan.
  • Individual health insurance policies that provide limited benefit health coverage.

Read CT H.B. 5233

Physician Noncompete Agreements

On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (S.B. 351) that, among other things, sets statutory limitations on physician covenants not to compete.

Senate Bill 351 defines a covenant not to compete as any provision of a partnership, employment, or other contract or agreement that creates or establishes a professional relationship with a physician and restricts the physician’s right to practice medicine in any geographic area of the state for any period of time after the end of the partnership, employment, or other professional relationship.

Pursuant to the bill, a physician covenant not to compete is valid and enforceable only if it is:

  • Necessary to protect a legitimate business interest and the covenant’s geographic reach, time limitation, and other provisions are necessary to protect that interest; and
  • Otherwise reasonable and not contrary to public policy.

Any covenant not to compete that is entered into, amended, extended, or renewed on or after July 1, 2016, may not:

  • Restrict the physician’s competitive activities for a period of more than one year, and in a geographic region of more than 15 miles from the primary site where such physician practices.
  • Be enforceable against a physician if:
    • Such employment contract or agreement was not made in anticipation of, or as part of, a partnership or ownership agreement and such contract or agreement expires and is not renewed, unless, prior to such expiration, the employer makes a bona fide offer to renew the contract on the same or similar terms and conditions; or
    • The employment or contractual relationship is terminated by the employer, unless such employment or contractual relationship is terminated for cause.

Primary site where such physician practices means:

  • The office, facility, or location where a majority of the revenue derived from such physician’s services is generated; or
  • Any other office, facility, or location where such physician practices and mutually agreed to by the parties and identified in the covenant not to compete.

Any covenant not to compete that is entered into, amended, extended, or renewed on or after July 1, 2016, must be separately and individually signed by the physician.

The remaining provisions of any contract or agreement that includes a covenant not to compete that is rendered void and unenforceable, in whole or in part, will remain in full force and effect, including provisions that require the payment of damages resulting from any injury suffered by reason of termination of such contract or agreement.

Read CT S.B. 351

Criminal History Inquiries

On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (H.B. 5237) that prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on an initial employment application unless:

  • The employer must do so under state or federal law; or
  • The prospective employee is applying for a position for which the employer must obtain a security or fidelity bond or equivalent bond.

Prospective employees aggrieved by an alleged violation of the law may file a complaint with the labor commissioner. Employers who violate the law are subject to a $300 civil penalty per violation.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read CT H.B. 5237

Mandated Health Benefits – Drugs Used to Treat Opioid Overdoses

On May 27, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation (H.B. 5053) regarding insurance coverage for certain drugs used to treat opioid overdoses. The bill prohibits health insurance policies, that provide coverage for prescription drugs and include on its formulary naloxone hydrochloride or any other similarly acting and equally safe drug approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of drug overdose, from requiring prior authorization for such drugs.

The law applies to any individual and group health insurance policies delivered, issued, renewed, amended, or continued in Connecticut on or after January 1, 2017 that cover:

  • Basic hospital expenses;
  • Basic medical-surgical expenses;
  • Major medical expenses;
  • Hospital or medical services, including coverage under an HMO plan; or
  • Single service ancillary health coverage.

Read CT H.B. 5053