EMPLOYER BASICS CHECKLIST*
for Nonprofit or Other Organizations in Connecticut

Lisa Nachmias Davis
Davis O'Sullivan & Priest LLC
129 Church Street, Suite 503
New Haven, CT 06510

203-776-4400
Fax 203-774-1060
davis@sharinglaw.net
www.sharinglaw.net

This list is a very simplified summary of some basic considerations for those who intend to "hire" someone to do work.  These should not apply when the person is an "independent contractor" (although you must file IRS Form 1099 to report payments).  HOWEVER, THERE MAY BE SERIOUS REPERCUSSIONS IF YOU TREAT SOMEONE AS AN "INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR" WHO IS LATER FOUND TO HAVE BEEN AN EMPLOYEE.  In most cases assume employee status until you talk to a lawyer.  THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, BUT A CAUTIONARY "HEADS UP!"

Applicable Laws - Check with a Lawyer!

  • Federal and state anti-discrimination law (during the hiring/firing process and throughout employment); Note: CT law covers all employers with 3 or more employees. In many cases these laws will prohibit "pregnancy discrimination" and (state laws) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  These laws may also make you liable for things employees do to each other
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (during the hiring/firing process and throughout employment) - covers both real and perceived disabilities.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (75 or more employees under CT state act)
  • CT statutes regarding pre-employment drug and genetic testing
  • CT laws regarding employee reference checks (dates of employment, position, and confirm salary only; written authorization signed by applicant required for more)
  • Cannot hire illegal aliens and must demand proof (and keep it on file) of citizenship or "green card" status when hiring someone
  • For certain sensitive jobs, criminal background checks may be required
  • For other jobs, professional licenses may be required
  • Court cases dealing with under what circumstances something short of a written "contract" imposes contractual obligations on employers
  • Any of your policies, communications, affirmative action hiring plans, etc. can be used against you or may impose obligations upon you
  • In general:  anytime you fire someone there can be issues, so consult a lawyer if possible

Insurance & Tax Requirements -- get an insurance agent and an accountant

  • Workers' Compensation Insurance
  • Appropriate liability coverage insurance
  • Directors' and officers' liability insurance (with employment decision coverage)
  • State/federal unemployment tax (certain exemptions are available)
  • Withholding from wages of Social Security (FICA) and Medicare contributions, roughly 7.5%, as well as income taxes
  • Employer must also make Social Security (FICA) and Medicare contributions, roughly7.5%
  • All withholdings must be deposited (usually quarterly with an annual report filed) -- corporate liability protection does not protect the person "responsible" for filings
  • Wage/hour laws apply unless the employee meets criteria for "exemption."   Requirements  include:  (1 ) employees must be paid weekly (you can apply for a waiver); (2) employees must be paid overtime so there must be a system to track time; (3) employees must be paid minimum wage.  Check the State Dept. of Labor

DISCLAIMER:
THIS INFORMATION IS NOT PROVIDED AS  LEGAL ADVICE AND CREATES NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR OWN LEGAL AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS.