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Ready, Set, Rehire- In Order of Seniority

August 17, 2021  –  Thanks to Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut joins a growing list of state and local governments requiring employers to recall  employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic before hiring anyone else.  They also must be recalled  in order of seniority.  The new legislation was passed on July 13, 2021, with immediate effect and imposes these obligations on hotels, lodging houses, food service contractors, and building services companies that have 15 or more employees in Connecticut.

Similar laws have already been enacted in California, Nevada and the cities of Baltimore, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

It is important to note this new law does not apply to all Connecticut businesses and it only applies to employees that were terminated because of lack of business stemming from the pandemic or as a result of one of the state’s COVID-19 emergency orders.  It does not apply to former employees fired for cause.

The new bill also requires employers to notify former employees who were terminated between March 2020 and May 2022 of new job openings.  Workers who qualify are those who held the same or similar position prior to being laid off, as well as those who could perform the open position after receiving the same training that would be available to an entirely new employee.

Each eligible employee will have up to five days to accept or reject an offer before the employer may offer the position to the next most senior former employee.  If an employee fails to respond within the five-day period, the employer can consider the offer declined.

For employers who refuse to rehire a laid-off employee because they lack the qualifications of the new position and as result hire someone with no prior work history with the company, they will be obligated to send the former employee a written notice within 30 days detailing their decision.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.