Department of Labor
At A Glance
PATRICIA H. MAYFIELD, Commissioner
Linda L. Agnew, Deputy Commissioner
Established - 1873
Statutory authority - CGS Sec. 31-1 to 31-403 (excluding chapter 568)
Website - www.ct.gov/dol
structure - Central Office,
Annex Office and 14 statewide
Department of Labor is committed to protecting and promoting the interests of
The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) meets the needs of workers and
employers by assisting them to become competitive in the global economy. For
workers, this is accomplished through income support between jobs, assistance
in searching for jobs, protection and fairness on the job, training programs,
job and career fairs, and information about the economy, wages and the
workplace. Services offered to businesses include workplace data, labor market
information, recruitment assistance and regional job fairs, programs to help
maintain and upgrade employee skills, such as apprenticeship and customized job
training, OSHA guidance and consulting services, and tax credit information.
Informational services to workers and employers, as well as enforcement
responsibilities, include the payment of wages, health and safety, employment
of minors, family and medical leave, representation by labor organizations, and
resolution of labor disputes. As the
Unemployment Insurance and Related Assistance
· Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are provided to unemployed persons pursuant to statute while claimants look for new work or take part in approved training programs. The DOL offers two options for filing unemployment compensation claims – TeleBenefits, an automated voice system, and WebBenefits, an Internet system – both available in English and Spanish. WebBenefits gives claimants access to their benefit payment and the capability to print out the information. The online system also provides an appeals filing application for unemployment insurance decisions. Currently, 33% of all individuals filing weekly unemployment claims now use the Internet method.
· Rapid Response services were provided to 136 employers and more than 5,285 workers this year. Services are available to companies closing or downsizing and to employees affected by layoffs. Providing early intervention services – information on unemployment insurance, employment programs, community services and health insurance plans eases the impact of layoffs and ensures that workers are aware of the full range of benefits and services available to them. The DOL heads a team comprised of a partnership of agencies and community groups.
· Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provides benefits to individuals whose worker group was certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as adversely affected by imports or production shifts to certain countries. Workers who totally or partially separate from affected employment during the specified certification period may apply for TAA benefits. Between July 1, 2006 and June 12, 2007 the following activity took place:
- A total of 2,000 individuals were identified as potentially eligible to apply under certified petitions and 961 of these individuals submitted applications.
- A total of 475 individuals were enrolled in TAA training programs.
- Approximately $2,717 was issued for relocation and job search purposes.
- A total of $4,351,119 was paid to provide for 12,364 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA). This included 9,132 weeks of basic TRA services; 3,196 weeks of additional TRA services; and 36 weeks of remedial TRA services. Workers who satisfy applicable program requirements may receive basic TRA, additional TRA and remedial TRA.
· Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), amounting to $110,920, was provided as wage subsidy payments for workers at least 50 years old who, within 26 weeks of separating from trade-impacted employment, obtained lower paying, full-time work. Under the guidelines, wage subsidies are provided if new employment pays $50,000 or less annually.
· The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), a federal tax credit that pays 65% of the qualified health insurance premiums paid by individuals, was provided to eligible Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) recipients identified by DOL. The Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with CTDOL, other federal and state agencies, and the private health industry, administers the tax credit.
· The Enhanced Re-employment Services program identifies unemployment insurance claimants who are likely to exhaust their benefits before securing new employment. More than 6,000 individuals attended orientation sessions and many received more direct, individualized employment services and training to facilitate their return to employment.
Services: One-Stop Career Centers, located in 14 CTWorks
offices statewide, provided employment services to more than 50,000
· The Career Express mobile workforce center has been on the road for nearly three years, bringing workforce and job skills development services to individuals, employers, veterans and students across the state. Career Express staff held workshops for approximately 2,020 high school, technical school, college and adult education students and assisted approximately 1,700 others with job searches, résumé writing, career exploration, completing job applications and interviewing techniques. Approximately 180 individuals were provided job search assistance through the Homelessness and Supportive Housing Initiative.
Apprenticeship Training administers the state’s apprenticeship system for
businesses. Apprenticeship is a long-term (one to four years) proven training
strategy that prepares skilled workers for
Veterans Workforce Development helps
Connecticut Job and Career Fairs brought more than 600 companies and 13,000
job seekers together as a result of nine regional events and two
veteran-specific career fairs, Heroes4Hire, held in January and July.
The two veteran job fairs, produced especially for our returning troops, but
open to all veterans. set a record for the number of companies participating,
85 and 93 respectively. Both were co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs
and the Military Department. Job
Development staff also took an active role in planning the Hartford
Springfield Economic Partnership’s Fall 2006 College Career Expo geared to
inform college students of the many job opportunities and internships available
Jobs First Employment Services serves recipients of Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) through DOL’s partnership with Social Services and the Workforce Investment Boards. Program staff also provides job search assistance, vocational education combined with adult education when appropriate, subsidized employment and support services to families who receive time-limited TFA. During the year, approximately 16,000 participants received employment services from CTWorks staff and/or through contracted service providers.
Job Corps provided
educational and vocational training to low-income youth ages 16-24 (no age
limit for persons with disabilities) to more than 600 students this year. Its mission is to enhance employability and
independence through training or further education. Administered by the U.S.
Department of Labor,
· More than 300 job developers, career development specialists, members of the business community, school counselors and teachers attended the annual Connecticut Learns and Works Conference held annually in conjunction with the Connecticut Career Resource Network, a partnership between the departments of Labor and Education.
· DOL’s Internet job service, Connecticut Job Bank, assisted companies with their hiring needs and helped individuals find employment. Connecticut Job Bank served more than 150,000 job seekers and 15,000 businesses this year while staff held approximately 700 recruitment events and employers used the computerized system to recruit candidates for 103,488 positions. Connecticut Job Bank was replaced in July 2007 with a new system, CT JobCentral, which offers the same services to employers or job seekers. It can be accessed from the Connecticut Labor Department Website (www.ct.gov/dol), or reached directly at www.jobcentral.org/ct.
· The Connecticut Job & Career ConneCTion assisted more than 17,000 visitors each month. The online service provides job descriptions, education and training requirements, wage information and employment projections for nearly 800 occupations, making it the state workforce system’s prime career information resource.
· The Connecticut Education & Training ConneCTion, the most comprehensive source of information on education and training in the state, assisted more than 10,000 visitors each month by providing more than 8,700 training programs and courses.
Workplace Guidance and Safety
Workplace Standards staff recovered $8.7 million in owed wages for
· State Board of Labor Relations defines and protects the statutory rights of employees including the right of public employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations. The Board also encourages and protects the right of employees and employers to bargain collectively and remedies certain practices on the part of employees and employers that are detrimental to the collective bargaining process and to the general public. More than 90 percent of the cases filed with the State Board of Labor Relations were resolved short of a Board hearing, largely due to successful mediation efforts of Assistant Agents. A total of 626 cases were filed during the year and 669 were closed during this period.
· State Board of Mediation and Arbitration provides mediation and arbitration services to employers and employee organizations in the public and private sector. The objectives of the Board are to save jobs by maintaining peaceful employer/employee relations and to promote equity between labor and management by resolving labor disputes. This year, the Board successfully closed 946 cases and issued 170 awards.
· The Office of Program Policy provides legal counsel to the DOL’s executive administration and all divisions. This includes technical assistance in Unemployment Insurance matters to agency adjudicators, written opinions and verbal guidance, and staff training in the application of unemployment compensation regulations. Staff also served as the agency clearinghouse for Freedom of Information Act requests.
· The Employment Security Appeals Division conducts appeal hearings from decisions granting or denying Unemployment Compensation benefits through two levels of Appeals. The first level (Referee Section) decided 18,638 appeals while the second level (Board of Review) decided 1,855 appeals. The Appeals Division continued to exceed the federally-mandated quality standards in issuing its decision.
· The Tax Division administers an equitable unemployment insurance tax program that protects both workers and employers through the fair enforcement of the Unemployment Compensation law.
Services Unit helps
· The Center for Lean Government offers businesses customized training programs and group work sessions that examine work processes, identify customer values and finds ways to increase productivity through the elimination of unnecessary reports, paperwork, approval processes, information retrieval, work backlogs and time-consuming forms. Lean curriculum enabled DOL to foster partnerships with sister agencies, helping to re-engineer approximately 600 process steps, automatically reallocating resources and simultaneously saving 15,000 worker hours. Internally, 20 major processes have been “leaned” and staff continue to reduce waste on a daily basis. Externally, Lean staff has helped the departments of Economic and Community Development and Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services simplify the way their services are delivered to their clients.
· Alien Labor Certifications handled by the Alien Labor Certification unit totaled 290. This included temporary certifications for foreign agricultural workers (H-2A) and foreign hospitality/retail workers (H-2B). Prior to certification, the unit ensures that employers have exhausted all means to hire American workers before recruiting foreign workers. The unit also handled 2,000 requests for prevailing wages and inspected 38 farms in connection with agricultural certifications.
· The Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers program provided outreach services to approximately 165 workers, including information on available workforce services, referrals to healthcare providers and other supportive services. Agricultural employers received recruitment assistance, mediation and interpreter services as well as technical guidance on compliance with the Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker regulations.
· The Shared Work Program was utilized by 109 companies and their employees this year. Shared Work provides companies with an alternative to layoffs, allowing the employer to retain skilled workers. The company is able to cut back on the workweek by 20 to 40 percent, and employees retain a portion of their salary that is then supplemented by partial unemployment compensation benefits.
· The DOL administers the Workforce Investment Act federal funding, which this year totaled $25.9 million and provided workforce services to more than 4,500 individuals. Under the guidelines of the federal legislation, a major portion of the grant is provided to the state’s five Workforce Investment Boards to offer services at the local level.
· Unemployment Insurance Grants. The agency was awarded $176,133 in federal grants to support contingency and disaster recovery plans. This funding allows for scheduled testing of back-up site operations for benefit check processing and printing.
· In May 2007, CT DOL was awarded a two-year $1,180,000 Disability Program Navigator Grant from the U.S. DOL. This grant establishes a state level Lead Program Navigator at the Connecticut Department of Labor and regional Disability Program Navigators. The role of the navigators is to coordinate assistance to people with disabilities in order to "navigate" through the challenges of attaining employment. This grant will also further the collaboration among the Labor Department, local workforce investment boards, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, employers and other partners providing programs and services to persons with disabilities.
· DOL is an active partner in two statewide initiatives: (1) The Department of Social Services’ Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, an effort to maximize opportunities for self-sufficiency and full participation for people with disabilities, and (2) the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Mental Health Transformation Grant, a collaboration that aims to transform current mental health services and associated systems.
· Individual Development Accounts (IDAs): Approximately $3.3 million in funds were administered by the DOL this year for IDA programs to help create self-sufficiency and enhance careers. The DOL received $907,500 in federal funding, $1,225,000 in state funds, $300,000 in housing trust funds and $1,065,000 in contributions from financial institutions or Community Action Agencies. IDAs are matched savings accounts designed to help low-income individuals and families save money that can be used to purchase assets. The agency administered four federal Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) grants and a CT IDA Initiative, to provide 639 IDA accounts statewide. To date, 137 asset purchases have been made. Additionally, 33 participants have reached their savings goals and entered the asset purchase phase of the program
· More than 3.9 million people visited the agency Website in 2006, and the number exceeded two million for the first six months of 2007. Enhancements made to the agency’s Website include reorganization of information for easier reference. UI Board of Review decisions can be retrieved back to 1945, and comprehensive statewide employment, education, and training options, as well as most agency forms can now be filled out online.
· The Tax Division expanded its customer service to the state’s approximately 98,000 businesses by developing an Internet registration system and a quarterly tax filing system that includes the ability to pay electronically any monies that are due. Working with providers of commercial desktop payroll software and the Department of Revenue Services, the Division provides employers with a system to file state withholding and state unemployment insurance taxes in one electronic transmission. If the employer chooses, the transmission can include electronic payment as well.
· The Unemployment Insurance Adjudications and Appeals Divisions implemented an Electronic Document Management System that allows for greater efficiency in handling disputed claims. The new system reduces paperwork, as parties involved in the disputed claim can fax information directly into the system in electronic format. This allows for speedier and more consistent document distribution if an appeal is filed by claimant or employer.
· The agency upgraded the Workforce Investment System’s Approved Training Program List by simplifying its entry and display screens, enabling the Workforce Investment Board administrators to efficiently enter and edit training programs and providers.
A Wage or Workplace complaint form can now be filed online through the
agency’s Website. The annual adjusted prevailing wage rates are easily
accessible and other required forms will be fillable online in the near future.
Outreach Efforts/New Publications
· The agency continued to offer a Speaker’s Bureau comprised of diverse group of agency experts who speak on a wide range of topics relating to employment law compliance, worker health and safety, labor market information, workforce development, unemployment insurance and other issues within the Department’s jurisdiction. Interested associations or civic groups may request speakers via telephone, fax, or through the agency Website.
An Employee Benefits In Connecticut 2006 report was
published – providing private
and public business leaders and workers in
· In January 2007, the Equal Opportunity Unit published the agency’s first Language Assistance Plan outlining how the Department of Labor will ensure access to its programs and services for persons with limited English proficiency.
DOL added new topics to its successful Employer Education
Breakfast Seminar Series. Seminar choices now include: Employment Law Made Simple, Unemployment
Insurance 101, Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act and
Drug Testing in the
· The Office of Research held a series of Labor Market Information (LMI) workshops for more than 300 employees of the state’s One-Stop system, business, community colleges, high schools, and faith-based service providers. Through the training, participants are informed about labor market information publications and their availability as information sources.
· A new brochure, Filing for Unemployment Insurance, was developed in print and electronic formats and is available in English, Spanish and Polish to publicize the TeleBenefits and WebBenefits options for filing unemployment claims.
· CONN-OSHA’s monthly Employer Roundtable Discussion series attracted approximately 50 attendees to each 90-minute session. The free events feature guest speakers, panel discussions and an overview of state and federal safety and health regulations for the workplace.
· Apprenticeship Training increased its outreach efforts with an informational breakfast and photo display held in March at the Legislative Office Building (LOB). Attended by 300 legislators, community organizations, union representatives and apprentices, the event helped to promote the apprenticeship program and its benefits to both workers and employers. The event included informational tables at the LOB staffed by various companies, unions, agencies and organizations that support Apprenticeship’s “Earn As You Learn” concept.
· The Office of Diversity and Equity Programs implemented a comprehensive Upward Mobility Program for all employees. It has been complemented with the development of an agency mentoring program to assist line and supervisory staff with career objectives.
· The Wage and Workplace Standards Division administers a wide range of workplace laws, such as the minimum wage (currently $7.65 per hour) overtime laws, wage payment laws, prevailing wage and employment of minors along with other workplace laws. These are all contained in Title 31, chapters 557 and 558 of the state statutes.
attorneys handled cases alleging violation of laws within DOL’s jurisdiction,
including the state Family and Medical Leave Act. Staff received a total of 62
FMLA complaints and 24 complaints involving allegations of retaliation for
filing wage claims, applying for unemployment benefits, or filing OSHA
complaints. The agency
dismissed or settled 43 cases. In 13
cases that were settled, approximately $200,000 was obtained for the
· Effective July 1, 2007, in accordance with Public Act 06-175 An Act Concerning Construction Safety and CGS Section 31-53b, each manual laborer on a contract of more than $100,000 for a public building must show proof that they have completed a ten-hour OSHA safety and health training course. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, Public Act 06-139, An Act Concerning Protection of Minors In The Workplace And Fourteen-Year-Olds Employed As Caddies, penalties were increased for violations of child labor laws. The new legislation criminalizes child labor law violations and allows the Wage and Workplace Division unit to refer more serious violations to prosecutors for criminal penalties between $2,000 and $5,000 and up to five years imprisonment. Civil penalties have been increased from $300 to $600 per violation.
Agency attorneys issued advisory opinions in 480 individual Unemployment
Insurance cases and approximately 100 multi-claimant decisions. Approximately
45 appeals, written arguments and motions were submitted to the Board of Review
and Appeals Referees.
· Office of Program Policy staff conducted training sessions on the application of a new law passed Oct. 1, 2006 regarding unemployment compensation eligibility for individuals limited to part-time employment due to a physical or mental impairment.
The Connecticut Department of Labor has earned a Silver
Innovation prize for its ‘WebBenefits’ system that allows customers to file for
unemployment benefits via the Internet. Awarded by the Connecticut Quality
Improvement Award Partnership, Inc., recipients are recognized for innovation
and managing quality improvement for business success and growth. With approximately 50,000
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) won the
agency an OSCAR, also known as an On-site Consultation Achievement Recognition
Award, for having one of the best consultation programs in the country. The
safety consultation program is provided to private and public sector companies
at no charge. The OSCAR, given by federal OSHA officials, was awarded for the
quality of the consultations and the fact that safety personnel from CONN-OSHA
were invited to visit 436 worksites throughout
The Wage and Workplace Division staff recovered a record
$8.7 million in legally due wages for employees over the past year. This amount
included $3.2 million recovered by wage enforcement agents responding to 3,449
complaints, $1.9 million under
· Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits paid to unemployed workers totaled $590.8 million. Of that amount, $534.5 million was provided by employers paying quarterly UI taxes and $56.3 million was provided by non-taxable employers and other programs. Taxes paid by more than 99,709 employers whose employees were covered by Unemployment Insurance totaled $549.3 million.
· The Office of Research completes special state, local, or sub-state regional studies and economic analyses to provide information support for economic transition, workforce development initiatives, education program analysis and development, and responses to major layoffs or disasters. Strategies for addressing issues such as labor gaps, and for positioning the State’s educational and workforce systems to be able to respond quickly to critical areas of workforce need, are a fundamental part of the Governor’s vision for Connecticut’s workforce and economic development efforts.
Occupational Analysis Products
The Connecticut’s Investment Employment Rising study
explains how the state's "alternative investment" niche segments, such
as hedge funds, are supplying the impetus for the current job growth. Benchmarking
Growth in Demand-Driven Labor Markets presents an assessment of
Connecticut’s Labor Market Dynamics: Job Creation,
Destruction, and Reallocation is a study that provides researchers,
policymakers and others a glimpse into the dynamic underpinnings of the
· Report on inspections: The Occupational Safety and Health Division (CONN-OSHA) conducted safety and/or health compliance inspections at 244 public worksites, affecting workplace conditions of 7,154 state and municipal employees. Violations were documented in 162 of those inspections, with citations for 218 serious and 476 other than serious violations.
· Report on consultations, training and clinics: CONN-OSHA provided safety and health consultations to 499 private-sector businesses that collectively employ 24,516 workers and to 144 public sector workplaces with a total of 13,184 employees. Additionally, safety training programs and outreach were provided to more than 6,826 employees or employer representatives. A total of $420,685 in state grants was administered to four occupational health clinics and 11 auxiliary occupational clinics through its Occupational Health Clinic Program.
Mediation and Arbitration
· During the year, a total of 796 grievances were filed for arbitration and 1,258 formal grievance arbitration hearings were scheduled, which resulted in 946 cases being successfully closed and 170 awards issued. Expiration notices on 225 private sector contracts were received. In compliance with State Statutes, the Board imposed binding arbitration on 228 municipal contracts and two state contracts. Mediators responded to a total of 303 requests for grievance mediation.