Hartford Business Journal

August 19, 2019

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www.HartfordBusiness.com • August 19, 2019 • Hartford Business Journal 3 EDITORIAL Greg Bordonaro | Editor, ext. 139, gbordonaro@HartfordBusiness.com Gregory Seay | News Editor, ext. 144, gseay@HartfordBusiness.com Matt Pilon | News Editor, ext. 143, mpilon@HartfordBusiness.com Sean Teehan | Staff Writer, ext 145, steehan@hartfordbusiness.com Joe Cooper | Web Editor, ext. 127, jcooper@HartfordBusiness.com Stephanie Meagher | Research Director Heide Martin | Research Assistant Steve Laschever | Photographer BUSINESS Joe Zwiebel | Publisher, ext. 132, jzwiebel@HartfordBusiness.com Donna Collins | Associate Publisher, ext. 121, dcollins@HartfordBusiness.com Lauren Stroud | Events & Project Manager, ext. 137, lstroud@HartfordBusiness.com Christina Zuraw | Events Coordinator, ext. 134, czuraw@hartfordbusiness.com Shannon Vincelette | HBJ Office and Events Coordinator, ext. 122, svincelette@hartfordbusiness.com David Hartley | Sr. Accounts Manager, ext. 130, dhartley@HartfordBusiness.com Kristen P. Nickerson | Sr. Accounts Manager, ext. 133, knickerson@HartfordBusiness.com Sue Lavin | Accounts Manager, ext. 128, slavin@HartfordBusiness.com Raki Zwiebel | Credit and Collections Manager Valerie Clark | Accounting Assistant/Office Manager Jill Coran | Human Resources Manager PRODUCTION Christopher Wallace | Art Director, ext. 147, cwallace@HartfordBusiness.com Liz Saltzman | Creative Director, ext. 140, lsaltzman@HartfordBusiness.com Peter Stanton | CEO, pstanton@nebusinessmedia.com Joseph Zwiebel | President, ext. 132, jzwiebel@HartfordBusiness.com Mary Rogers | COO/CFO, mrogers@nebusinessmedia.com SUBSCRIPTIONS: Annual subscriptions are $84.95. To subscribe, visit HartfordBusiness.com, email hartfordbusiness@cambeywest.com, or call (845) 267-3008. ADVERTISING: For advertising information, please call (860) 236-9998.Please address all correspondence to: Hartford Business Journal, 15 Lewis Street, Suite 200, Hart ford CT 06103. NEWS DEPARTMENT: If you have a news item: Call us at (860) 236-9998, fax us at (860) 570-2493, or e-mail us at news@HartfordBusiness.com. Hartford Business Journal accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or materials and in general does not return them to the sender. Hartford Business Journal (ISSN 1083-5245) is published weekly, 49x per year - including two special issues in November and December — by new England Business Media, LLC, 15 Lewis Street, Suite 200, Hartford, CT 06103. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and at additional entry points. Tel: (860) 236-9998 • Fax (860) 570-2493 Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Hartford Business Journal P.O. Box 330, Congers, NY 10920-9894 www.copyright.com HartfordBusiness.com (860) 236-9998 Matthew Curtin | Partner, Murtha Cullina LLP By Sean Teehan steehan@hartfordbusiness.com W hether it's paid family leave or a mini- mum-wage increase, Connecticut's legis- lature has recently taken great interest in labor issues, which are Matthew Curtin's forte. Curtin, an employment attorney and part- ner at Hartford-based law firm Murtha Cullina LLP, represents large and small employers including public entities, nonprofits and private corporations. In coming years, Curtin said Connecticut's decision to raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 will have a negative effect on the job market, and employers will have to grapple with new technology like artificial intelligence, and the role it will play in employment. How will gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 affect Connecticut's job market? I think the intent is admira- ble, but I have concerns about the unintended consequenc- es. Small business owners will likely struggle with the in- crease in personnel costs. The increase may also dissuade out-of-state employers from moving operations into Con- necticut, or persuade in-state employers to seek friendlier environments elsewhere. Some small business owners have criticized the wage increase and paid family leave, saying they can't afford it. How might these laws affect employees of these small businesses? The fact is that increased labor costs will likely force small business owners to reduce staff levels. New York City recently increased the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and the early feedback is exactly that — increased labor costs have led to staff reductions and reductions in hours available to employees. So, while the intent of the increase is admirable, the unintended consequences may actually have an adverse effect on workers. Connecticut has a higher percentage of unionized employees than most states, but membership has declined. Do you see organized labor's influence in Connecticut waning in coming years? Yes. Private-sector organized labor will continue to see waning membership, and the corresponding decrease in membership dues as a result of the Supreme Court's decision last year in Janus v. AFSCME, limiting unions' ability to collect membership dues. Public-sector labor unions remain robust in Connecticut, but even those unions will take a tangible hit on membership dues because of the Janus decision. I also expect the National Labor Relations Board will issue new rules making it harder for employees to unionize. What is one employment issue that we're not currently talking about, but will be soon? Artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. While not necessarily a new topic in employment law, I think the discussion will become much more public in the coming years. More and more employ- ers are utilizing AI to reshape all aspects of the employment relationship. We are already seeing job displacement due to AI. Rapid advances in tech- nology will cause a sea change in how employers approach employment matters. How do you grade Gov. Ned Lamont so far on labor issues? Gov. Lamont was able to push through several of his key agenda items concerning employment law, so I'm sure he views the most recent legisla- tive session a success. Whether the changes to the minimum wage, leave laws, and anti-harassment laws end up a positive for the Connecticut economy remains an open question, however. Newsmakers DESIGN/BUILD SOLUTIONS…ONE SOURCE The company that builds and installs the critical systems in virtually every type of facility is the same company you can rely on to maintain them. For over 50 years, our clients have trusted us to manage projects from concept to completion. We are experts in: Design/Build Pre-Construction Services LEED Capabilities 860.871.1111 Toll Free: 800.741.6367 nemsi.com License #'s: E1-104939 • S1-302974 • P1-203519 • F1-10498 • SM1-192 • MC-1134 MECHANICAL • ELECTRICAL • PLUMBING • SHEET METAL • BUILDING AUTOMATION • FACILITIES SERVICES Matthew Curtin More and more employers are utilizing AI to reshape all aspects of the employment relationship. We are already seeing job displacement due to AI.

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