A whole series of new laws went into effect starting October 1, 2009. For a full list of the laws you can find a link on Dan Schwartz’s Employment Law Blog. For a humorous “quick and dirty” summary you can go to Ryan McKeen’s Connecticut Law Blog. If you want to know the new taxes and higher fees, read these articles by Susan Haigh of the Day and Christopher Keating of the Courant.
If you just want to know the laws affecting business, the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research puts together a nice summary. From that summary, I offer a few highlights of the laws that went into effect October 1, 2009.
BUSINESS CORPORATE ACT CHANGES– PA09-55
There are several changes to the Connecticut Business Corporation Act. To most significant change is on Dissolution and is summarized in section 23. Here are the highlights:
- eliminates requirement that court dissolve corporation in certain situations involving deadlock in management and elections
- permits, instead of requires, court to dissolve corporation in certain situations involving deadlock and irreparable injury is threatened because of the deadlock
Safeguarding Personal Information– PA 09-71
This is an act concerning state chartered banks and requires safeguarding of personal information, which is information that can be associated with an individual through an identifier like a Social Security number. The act gives the Department of Banking authority to enforce the law against state chartered banks. Any bank that adopts the security and privacy provisions that comply with the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is in compliance with the state act.
Penalty for Doing Business Without Authority — PA09-83
This act increases the penalty on foreign businesses that conduct business without registering. I covered this act on an earlier blog post here.
Consumer Privacy and Identify Theft — PA 09-239
Several changes were made to social security numbers and the personal identifier information. There were also changes to the laws concerning identity theft.
Most significant to businesses are the provisions that penalize employers for failing to:
- obtain and retain job applications securely
- take reasonable steps to destroy applications when disposing of them
- allows the Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General to enforce its provisions
- a civil penalty between $500 and $500,000 may be imposed for failure to comply. The fines will be deposited into a newly established Privacy Protection Guaranty and Enforcement Account
I intend to a more detailed blog post on this topic in the future. Businesses should also be aware of the Act Concerning Social Security Numbers, which I wrote about in an earlier technology tip post here.
Customer Access to Restrooms – PA09-129
This act mandates that retail establishments give access to restrooms to individuals with certain medical conditions, even if the restroom is not open to the public. The act applies to customers with proof of certain medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease. The act does not require any changes in construction for the non-public bathrooms.
This act makes changes to the ban on employer discrimination for gender in compensation to employees. Allows the court to award back pay, compensatory, and punitive damages for claims that fall under the act. Dan Schwartz details the provisions of this act here.