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Conn. questions utility on layoffs

HARTFORD — Hartford-based Northeast Utilities is disputing allegations by Connecticut officials that it violated a requirement to notify the state of layoffs.

New England’s largest utility company issued a statement Monday saying its interpretation of the reporting requirement is different from that of state Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz. The utility will file a response with state regulators.

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State officials say 319 employees have left Northeast Utilities since its $5 billion purchase of Boston-based NStar was completed in April.

Northeast says when new hires are factored in, there have been only 155 job reductions.

Jepsen said a settlement agreement with the state over the NStar deal required NU to give 30 days’ advance notice on layoffs to the state.

Massachusetts regulators have questioned Northeast Utilities about layoffs, as well.

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