Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

May 4, 2023


HARTFORD – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) today led the state Senate in the successful passage of a bill to strengthen penalties against contractors who refuse to pay their employees the prevailing wage on building projects, or who don’t maintain worker’s compensation insurance in case one of their workers is injured on the job.

Senate Bill 1035, “An Act Concerning Stop Work Orders,” passed the Senate on a bipartisan 28-7 vote and now heads to the use of Representatives for consideration.

“It’s important that we protect workers on construction sites,” Sen. Kushner said. “We have state laws in effect for a reason, and these laws need to be enforced. By increasing the penalties for violations, we’re sending a message to employers that they should think twice before breaking the law.”

Senate Bill 1035 broadens the state Department of Labor commissioner’s authority to issue stop work orders to include instances where a contractor or a subcontractor knowingly or willfully pays an employee less than the prevailing wage that’s required on a public works project. The bill also increases the civil penalty for violating a stop work order from $1,000 a day to $5,000 for each day that an order is violated.

The bill also increases the fine for hindering an investigation into these complaints – or complaints about a non-payment of wages or the failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage – from a $150-$250 fine to a fine of at least $1,000.

From January 2022 to January 2023, there were 33 stop-work orders issued in Connecticut, all of which the private-sector contractors adhered to.
In 2021, Connecticut recorded 23 workplace fatalities, down six deaths from 2020. But in 2021, Connecticut had one of the highest workplace fatality rates per 100,000 workers of any New England state: Rhode Island had 5, Vermont 10, Maine 19, New Hampshire 21, Connecticut 23, Massachusetts 97, and New York 247.