Legislative History of Affirmative Action in Connecticut
On March 29, 1973, Governor Thomas J. Meskill issued Executive Order No. 18 establishing an affirmative action program to reaffirm the State of Connecticut's commitment to equal opportunity. As a result of this order, the State Personnel Department (Which was changed to the Department of Administrative Services in 1977) was designated the agency responsible for assuring equal employment opportunities existed within state service. The department was also responsible for the preparation, promulgation, and administration of a statewide affirmative action plan for equal employment opportunity within the state.
- Public Act 75-536 required the preparation of affirmative action plans for individual state agencies. Every state entity was required, in cooperation with the state Department of Personnel and Administration, to develop "an affirmative action plan for equal employment opportunity in all aspects of personnel and administration." Each plan had to be filed with CHRO twice a year.
CHRO was to review and approve the content of the plan. If a plan was in violation of state statutory requirements, or if an agency failed to submit a plan, CHRO was to issue a complaint and handle it in the same manner as a case of unfair employment practices. Additionally, CHRO was to monitor the activity of the affirmative action plans and report their results annually to the governor and the General Assembly.
- Public Act 79-255 removed DAS entirely from the process of plan development and required state agencies to work in cooperation with and pursuant to regulations proposed by CHRO. The law granted CHRO the right to grant annual filing status to agencies with approved affirmative action plans.
- Public Act 83-569 made major changes to the law as a result of the 1983 sunset review of CHRO. These included:
- each agency was directed to implement as well as develop a plan;
- agencies were required to designate a full or part time affirmative action officer, and CHRO was directed to provide training and technical assistance to those officers in the areas of plan development and implementation;
- CHRO was required to schedule semi annual and annual filing dates in its regulations, to replace the universal filing dates of March 1 and September 1;
- CHRO was mandated to approve or disapprove individual plans and failure to do so in a timely manner would result in the plan being approved by default;
- the Commissioner of DAS and the Secretary of OPM were required to cooperate with CHRO to insure that the State Personnel Act and personnel regulations be administered and that the collective bargaining process be conducted in a manner consistent with the State's affirmative action responsibilities; and
- CHRO was given permission to issue a "certificate of noncompliance" to any agency whose affirmative action plan was twice consecutively disapproved. Such a certificate would bar the agency from filling a position by hire or promotion until CHRO determined the agency achieved compliance with the affirmative action plan requirements and withdrew the certificate; or unless CHRO could not show, at hearing, why the certificate should not be rescinded; or DAS or OPM certified to CHRO that the vacancy must be immediately filled because of an emergency situation. P.A. 88-317 removed the requirement for two consecutive disapprovals, allowing a certificate of noncompliance upon a single plan disapproval.
- Public Act 98-205 instructed state agencies, under the supervision of DAS, to establish a program of accommodation and entry level training for persons with disabilities, with such programs being a part of each agency's affirmative action plan. The plans are to include specific annual goals and timetables on the number of jobs to be filled through the accommodation of person with disabilities and on the entry level training for such persons.
Content Last Modified on 10/26/2006 1:36:40 PM