Connecticut is naughty both for energy policy and energy prices. According to the Pacific Research Institute’s most recent 50 State Index of Energy Regulation, Connecticut has a lot of work to do. The state’s regulatory scheme ranks 47 in the country. The Index measures the regulatory burdens placed on consumers and producers of energy by each state, ranking them accordingly.
Nice states encourage and reward risk takers, both with policy and general attentiveness to their job creators. Unpredictability, projections to increase taxes, and constant regulatory creep are factors that reduce business confidence and, ultimately, reinvestment in a state. Naughty states disregard the concerns of employers.
In recent years, Connecticut has not been friendly to business or entrepreneurship, particularly start-up activity. In fact, in a new survey of small businesses conducted by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, more than nine in 10 small businesses indicated that public policy did not “facilitate the efforts of small businesses in the state.” Given this climate, it is no wonder the state does so poorly in 50-state rankings.
An employee can voluntarily separate from their employer and still receive unemployment benefits if the cause of separation was due to, among other things, a “hostile work environment.” So what constitutes a hostile work environment and what does the Connecticut Department of Labor use to determine whether or not such an environment exists? Legally, a hostile work environment must be “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment,” according to precedent set by the decision Brittel v. Department of Correction.
When Liz Wilson submitted her final test results to become a marriage and family therapist in early September, she thought she would be able to receive her license from the Department of Public Health within a couple weeks and move forward opening her own private practice. Six weeks later on October 21 she finally received notification that she was now officially licensed by the state but there was one last hold up - the DPH only prints licenses once a month.
Wendy Traub of Hemlock Directional Boring - a construction company that specializes in underground utility pipe installation, says small businesses like Hemlock simply do not have the time to commit to appeals when there is little chance of success - regardless of whether or not the employee quit, was fired or laid off. “I would say 98 percent of the time - I don’t want to say it was a joke - but no matter what evidence we could present, the labor board said they are going to get it.”