Senate Passes Unemployment Reporting Requirements Repeal Measure
The state Senate unanimously approved legislation May 9 that repeals potentially troublesome and costly unemployment reporting requirements.
SB 1091 eliminates 15 new reporting fields that employers would have been required to include in quarterly wage reports to the state Department of Labor from next January.
Current law requires employers to submit data points for each employee on gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, veteran status, home address, highest degree of education, and other data points.
Under SB 1091, employers still must submit employee names, Social Security numbers, and the amount of wages paid during the calendar quarter.
The bill makes it optional to submit an employee’s occupation, hours worked, the employer’s business mailing address, and zip code.
SB 1091 also pushes out the phase-in for the new optional reporting requirements to the third quarter of 2026.
CBIA advocated strongly for this bill, noting that there are inherent risks for Connecticut to require employers to report extensive demographic data while neighboring states have no such reporting requirements.
Of the 15 new data elements, 10 are not currently collected by any other state.
Connecticut would be a significant outlier. Of the five data elements that are being currently collected in other states, two are collected only by Vermont.
Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) called the bill “a signal to the business community that Connecticut is open for business.”
Working with the Lamont administration to develop compromise language, Hartley advocated for maintaining the state’s competitive regulatory framework and making it easier for small businesses in particular to grow.
Additionally the information in the new reporting fields are not located in a company’s payroll system, which generates the quarterly wage reports.
It would take years of costly systems development to connect payroll and HR systems to obtain and maintain this information.
Finally, repealing these requirements prevents many negative unintended consequences for the state Department of Labor.
Timely wage information could be unavailable for the core purpose of administering unemployment insurance benefits.
DOL would need to edit incoming reports against certain standards and reject employer wage/tax reports or suspend processing while seeking clarification of elements reported.
Rejected or suspended wage reports could make wage information unavailable when unemployment claimants apply for benefits.
If a single employee wage record meets agency criteria for rejection or suspension, the entire employer wage report would be affected.
SB 1091 awaits action in the House.
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