The Governor of Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, is encouraging you employers in her state to hire veterans. She launched a program called just that—“Hire a Veteran Week”—in the last week of January to get employers to recognize the importance of taking care of our nation’s veterans in this time of turmoil, but she also made it known that it doesn’t have to be January to follow through with this notion/
As she said during the Hire a Veteran Week, veterans have sacrificed so much to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. There have sacrificed their time with their families, and in some cases, they have sacrificed their body, their mind, and their employment and well being for our country. Plus, the governor adds, many people in the armed services come back with special training and skills that could definitely come in handy for a civilian employer.
Part of the program is that the state of Connecticut is holding “Hire a Hero” fairs, much like your typical job fair except they are especially designed to hire returning veterans. The first such fair was held back in January, and it was a sell out and a major success for the businesses that participated in it. So employers should keep their eyes peeled for similar Hire a Hero job fairs in their neck of the woods in Connecticut coming up in the future.
Such programs will continue, thanks to the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the Connecticut Department of Labor and the Connecticut Office of Workforce Competitiveness, which work to help veterans in their job market and to help employers who want to hire veterans. My sources tell me that veterans make up about 12 percent of the work force currently in Connecticut, so this program could have no small impact.
As we know, we all can thank the Federal Welfare Reform Act of 1997 for all of the new hire reporting labor laws out there. The result in Connecticut was that the state legislature passed its own version of the law, which went into effect on October 1, 1998.
This law was recently changed in October 2003 to account for independent contractors as we have seen in other states besides Connecticut, like California. According to the revision of the law, independent contractors are considered “employees” of your company if they earn more than $5000 from you and if they are not registered independently with the Connecticut Department of Labor for unemployment benefits. And as your “employees,” you have to then report these independent contractors as new hires when they start to work for you.
When comes to independent contractors and all new hired employees, they all have to be reported in the state of Connecticut no matter how long you think they will work for you—a lifetime or even just one day. Even if a worker has worked for you in the past—but hasn’t done so in the last 6 months—then you have to report them as new hires to in Connecticut. (Employees who have worked for you before in the past within the last six months, though, do not need to be reported as new hires when you bring them back onboard your organization.)
Meanwhile, students, children, or people just working in your household also need to be reported as new hires. The Connecticut law makes no distinctions between age, employment term or category (part time, full time, temporary), or job type when it comes to reporting them as new hires. The state requires information on all of them in order to comply with the federal directive to help track child support payments.