March 15, 2022 Labor and Public Employees Committee, HB 418
Public Hearing Testimony of
Heidi Lane, Legal Director
Department of Labor
Labor and Public Employees Committee
March 15, 2022
Good Morning Senator Kushner, Representative Porter, Senator Sampson, Representative Arora and members of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with testimony regarding House Bill No. 418, AN ACT CONCERNING WAGE THEFT. My name is Heidi Lane and I am the Legal Director of the Connecticut Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor ("CTDOL") believes that the debarment and prequalification statutes need to be revised to provide a deterrence to contractors that violate or circumvent prevailing wage laws. While enforcement actions by CTDOL provide immediate relief to unpaid workers in the form of settlements for back wages, they fail to address the fact that settlements alone may not be sufficient to prevent irresponsible contractors from repeatedly defying the prevailing wage laws. However, CTDOL does not agree that the language of this bill comprehensively reforms the debarment and prequalification statutes as outlined by the seven (7) recommendations in the 2020 Task Force to Study Debarment and Limitations on the Awarding of State Contracts report.
We are always available to meet to assist in the drafting of a comprehensive approach to both debarment and prequalification procedures which encourages the continued use of settlement agreements while simultaneously adopting a debarment hearing procedure which may include triggers such as an overall dollar amount of settlements during a certain period of time.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony.
Connecticut Department of Labor • www.ct.gov/dol
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer