A Message from our Chairman

Dear Chamber Member,

I hope to see everyone on Wednesday, January 24 for our 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble, Sr. Award Dinner presented by Develomark. Congratulations to Attorney Edward “Ned” Fitzpatrick who will be honored with this year's Dibble Award! Attorney Fitzpatrick follows the tradition of past honorees who have advanced businesses, socio economic conditions and the Naugatuck community. Ned and the Fitzpatrick family have been involved in Naugatuck for generations advancing the Borough. You can register now here.

The Chamber will be embarking on a membership campaign very shortly. I urge you to continue spreading the word about the benefits of being a Naugatuck Chamber member and encourage colleagues or acquaintances you know to consider joining our organization. One great way to introduce someone to the chamber is encouraging them to attend one of the free Wake Up Your Business events, which are held at the Ion Bank Community Room every third Friday of the month from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. If you are interested in attending the next Wake Up Your Business on Friday, January 26, you can register here.

If you're looking to hear directly from Governor Ned Lamont along with area legislators, be sure to check out the Legislative Summit, taking place on Tuesday, February 13 at the Legislative Summit that will be held at the Wyndham Southbury. For details, click here.

Thank you for your continued membership,

Kevin H. McSherry

McSherry Law Office

Naugatuck Chamber, Chairman of the Board

In This Issue
  • Chairman's Note
  • Upcoming Events
  • Submit Your Content
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hiring & Training Programs Available
  • HR Corner Corner by Carmody, Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP

January 24, 2024: 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Develomark

Honoring Attorney Edward G. Fiztpatrick

The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce will present its 2023 Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award on January 24, 2024 to Attorney Edward G. Fitzpatrick, Partner of Fitzpatrick, Santos, Sousa, Perugini P.C.

The award, presented annually by the Chamber, recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the business and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck. Fitzpatrick will receive the award during the Naugatuck Chamber’s 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Develomark on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 at Aria Wedding and Banquet Facility in Prospect. The event will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 6:30 p.m.

A lifelong Naugatuck native, Fitzpatrick has been practicing law since 1978. In 1987, he opened his own law office in downtown Naugatuck, where he continues to practice today with partners Carlos Santos, Cesar Sousa, Danielle Perugini, Timothy Fitzpatrick, and Antonio Nunes. The firm concentrates its practice in the areas of personal injury, real estate, family, municipal, and probate law. In addition to his professional life, Fitzpatrick has enjoyed coaching, with the assistance of others, many local youth sports teams from the Naugatuck YMCA and Naugatuck Youth Soccer Leagues. He is also a former member of the Naugatuck Chamber Board of Directors and the Borough of Naugatuck Finance Board, and currently serves on the Board of Corporators of Ion Bank. Recently, Fitzpatrick has been recognized by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for his efforts to combat domestic violence.

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Upcoming Chamber Events

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Submit Your News and Social Media Content
Do you have upcoming events, company news, specials, or other-related information you'd like the Chamber to promote in our next Chamber Member newsletter or on one of our many social media platforms? You can submit your content by emailing Communications Director David Huck. Leverage the Chamber and allow us to spread your message to thousands of individuals.
Hiring & Training Programs Available
Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board: Connecticut Workforce High tech Industries Partnership Grant (CTWHISP)/Incumbent Worker Training Program 

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) is a type of work-based, employer-driven training for employees who need training to upgrade their skills to
  • secure full-time employment,
  • advance in their careers, or
  • retain their current employment in H-1B occupations and industries.

IWT is developed in collaboration with the employer. It requires long term planning and commitment on the part of the employer's CEO, CFO, HR, supervisors and employees.

The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board (NRWIB) reimburses contracted training costs up to $2,000 per employee for IT training, and up to $3,000 per employee for manufacturing training. To get the proposal and contract process started please contact Jeffrey Chorches - [email protected].

The workforce board contracts with the employer to arrange the training. The employer chooses the job training course, the training provider, training schedule, and the employees who will participate. Employers are encouraged to backfill open positions that result from incumbent worker training with unemployed and underemployed individuals. One of the goals of U. S. Dept. of Labor Hl-b grants is to make U.S. employers less dependent upon non-citizens.
More Information

HR Corner: New Year, New Employment Laws: Preparing for Changes in 2024

This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino

Connecticut employers should be aware of key new federal and state employment laws that will be effective in 2024, and some other significant developments that are likely to occur. We summarize these new laws and developments below. 

Proposed Changes to Overtime Requirements

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed increasing the minimum salary level to be exempt from $684 per week ($35,568 annually) to $1,059 per week ($55,068 annually). The DOL also proposed raising the annual compensation requirement for the highly compensated employee exemption from $107,432 to $143,988. The DOL intends to issue its final rule in April 2024. If enacted, the final rule could go into effect 60 days thereafter. There is a possibility that the DOL will modify its proposed rule, and/or that the final rule will be subject to legal challenge. Employers are well-advised to closely monitor developments and be prepared to make any necessary changes.

Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements have been under attack at the federal and state level. At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule that would make it illegal for an employer to: (1) enter, or attempt to enter, into a noncompete with a worker; (2) maintain a noncompete with a worker; or (3) represent to a worker, under certain circumstances, that the worker is subject to a noncompete. Employers would also be required to rescind existing noncompete agreements and actively inform workers that they are no longer in effect. The FTC is expected to vote on the rule in April 2024.


The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a memorandum in March 2023 stating that many non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions violate an employees’ protected rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. States have also taken aim at non-compete agreements. For example, the New York legislature passed legislation that banned non-compete agreements; however, it was vetoed by the Governor. Legislation also has been proposed in Connecticut on numerous occasions that would severely limit the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Such legislation is likely to resurface during the next legislative session.


Workplace Discrimination Claims

The United States Supreme Court will issue a decision in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis that will have a significant impact on workplace discrimination claims. The Court will decide whether Title VII requires a plaintiff to show a materially adverse employment action to state a discrimination claim. If, as many suspect, the Court does not require a plaintiff to meet this threshold, this could result in significantly more discrimination claims, including reverse discrimination claims arising from DEI initiatives.  

Connecticut Minimum Wage Increases

Connecticut’s minimum wage increased from $15.00 per hour to $15.69 on January 1, 2024. This increase is based on the percentage change in the federal employment cost index. Future annual increases on January 1st will also be based on the U.S. DOL’s calculation of the employment cost index for the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year.


Unemployment Compensation

There are several major changes to Connecticut’s unemployment compensation program that are effective January 1, 2024. For example, the taxable wage base that is a component of an employer’s unemployment taxes will increase from the first $15,000 per employee to the first $25,000. In addition, the minimum unemployment tax rate will decrease from .5% to 0.1% while the maximum rate will increase from 5.4% to 10%. And, in all cases, a claimant’s receipt of severance pay will now result in disqualification from receiving unemployment compensation benefits for the period of time covered by the payment. 

Sick Leave

Employers should be mindful that as of October 1, 2023, Connecticut’s sick leave law was expanded to allow the use of sick leave for a “mental health wellness day,” i.e., a day during which the individual attends to their emotional and psychological well-being instead of working their regularly scheduled shift.


This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.

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