A bill that could persuade employers to settle wage disputes or face certain double damages in civil court has passed the state Senate and is now in the House.
SB 914 takes away a judge's discretion to award anything less than double damages in civil actions to collect unpaid regular and overtime wages.
Judges, however, already have the power to impose the harsh penalty in cases of truly bad-acting employers, which would seem to alleviate the need for a mandatory penalty.
Making the penalty so harsh might give employers the impression that there could be no better option than to avoid costly litigation and settle wage disputes—even when they are not in the wrong.
Connecticut is in a worldwide competition for jobs, yet proposals like this put job creators at odds with their own state. It’s another indication of Connecticut offering a less than business-friendly environment.