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Category Archives: Highlight

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NLRB Ruling Will Allow Graduate Student Teaching Assistants To Unionize

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

Yesterday, the NLRB released an ground-breaking decision allowing  students to organize. My colleague, Jarad Lucan, recaps the importance of this decision not only for schools like Yale University in Connecticut, but beyond. In its 2004 Brown University decision, the National Labor Relations Board held that graduate student teaching assistants were not employees because they were… Continue Reading

Your Employee, Worried About Zika, Has to Travel to Miami. Now What?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Your industry’s major conference is set for Miami Beach – the land of sun, beaches, and, now it seems, mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. Your key sales employee — the one who was setting up your booth for the conference — has come to you expressing concern about the Zika virus.  Perhaps she’s pregnant. Or… Continue Reading

Firing Of Pot-Smoking State Employee Goes Up in Smoke by CT Supreme Court

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

You might think that smoking pot on the job as a state employee would be justifiable grounds to get you fired. A no-brainer, right? (Let’s save a discussion for eating brownies and swearing at your cat for another blog post.) After all, even the Connecticut Supreme Court is stating that the “statutory, regulatory and decisional… Continue Reading

Facebook’s Campus: A Workplace Reality Like Virtually No Other

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

Could this place be real?  Or is it just a Disney World for work?  I mean, people don’t actually get work here, do they? Those were my initial thoughts walking through the campus of Facebook on a recent trip.  It wasn’t the first time I visited — but its a changed world from even six… Continue Reading

New Model Rules Make It Unethical to Discriminate

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

As I have for over a decade now, I attended the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting last week serving on the ABA’s House of Delegates – the organization’s main governing body.  My exact position is actually State Delegate — a position that nominally makes the lead delegate of Connecticut’s delegation, though in practice it’s much… Continue Reading

Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But the Connecticut Supreme Court, as it has done before, was having none of it.  The end result of the case… Continue Reading

Sex Harassment in the Workplace: An Uptick in Cases, Awareness or Both?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

The last few weeks it seems that I’ve been reading about sexual harassment in the workplace issues a lot more. Here are a few examples: Gretchen Carlson sues Fox News’ Roger Ailes. Suit Says Managing Partner Pressured Female Staff for Sex Sexual Harassment Still a Reality in the Workplace Interior chief: ‘Culture’ of sexual harassment… Continue Reading

Another Day, Another Reversal by the NLRB

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB

By now, it’s really not a big surprise when the NLRB reverse course on a prior decision. This week, the NLRB did it again.  My colleague, Jarad Lucan, provides this quick update on temporary/contract employees being allowed to join unions.  Read on. In 2004 the National Labor Relations Board in its Oakwood Care Center case… Continue Reading

With Your Social Media Policy, It’s “Live” and “Go” Time

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media, Wage & Hour

Recently, I had the opportunity to revisit a social media policy I had reviewed several years ago.  (Check back to this post from 2008 to see how far we’ve really come.) In doing so, I was reminded — once again — how quickly the tech world is changing and how policies need to continually adapt…. Continue Reading

New Pay Secrecy Law Finds a Place in Court With Lawsuit

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Well, it was bound to happen.  After nine years of writing the blog on a near daily schedule, some work and personal commitments interfered with my blog writing schedule. But never fear, more new posts from me are now right around the corner. In the meantime, one of our summer associates, James Joyce, joins the… Continue Reading

Settling FLSA Wage & Hour Claims? Court Approval May Be Needed

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk at the Connecticut Legal Conference about employment law issues. My talk focused on free speech rights in the workplace — a topic I’ve covered well in some prior posts here and here, for example. One of the other topics of our discussion was the Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake… Continue Reading

Volunteers: Can They Really Help Fix Your Issues With New Overtime Rules?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Over the weekend, I finished planning for our webinar tomorrow on the new overtime rules.  In digging deeper into the materials produced by the Department of Labor on the final rule, I looked at the use of volunteers as a solution — particularly for non-profit organizations. For the “for-profit” world, this is probably not a realistic option…. Continue Reading

Travel Time: An Added Complication to New Overtime Rules

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

I’m looking forward to “seeing” lots of you at next week’s free webinar we’re having on the new overtime rules and how they impact Connecticut employers. One of the issues that we’ll touch upon is how the new rules are going to add complications for many employers — and particularly non-profits. Take, for example, an… Continue Reading

Is There A Difference Between Firing Because of Age vs. Salary?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

Up on Fortune magazine’s column “Practically Speaking” is the following question: Frank has been with us for more than 20 years. He works in the warehouse and has done a good job for us. I like him. But, to be honest, for the work he performs I could easily replace him someone younger and …… Continue Reading

Free Webinar: Important CT Employer Update on New Federal Overtime Rule

Posted in Highlight

With the new federal overtime rules going into effect later this year, I thought it would be useful to talk about in a free webinar. And apparently, many of you think it would be useful too because in the 48 hours that we’ve opened up the signups to our webinar, we already have a record-breaking… Continue Reading

One Big Thing For Employers to Know About the New Overtime Rule

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Are you tired of lawyers commenting already on the new overtime rules? (The answer should be no, of course, since you’re reading this blog and thus have room for one more view.) But I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t seen a feeding frenzy like this on employment law in many, many years. … Continue Reading

Final Overtime Rule Released; Challenges Ahead for Connecticut Employers

Posted in Featured, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

If you like to open your presents on Christmas Eve, the U.S. Department of Labor is for you. Last night, the DOL posted the final revised rule on overtime on its website ahead of its planned announcement this afternoon. What a gift for employment lawyers!  Needless to say, I was up late unwrapping all my “gifts.”… Continue Reading

Three Things to Look For In Final Overtime Regulations

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Wage & Hour

Late Monday, several reports on Twitter indicated that the Department of Labor would be announcing and releasing the final version of the revisions to the white-collar overtime regulations.  You can see my prior posts on the subject here and here. This has been a long time coming. It was way back in 2014 (!) that… Continue Reading

President Signs New Federal Trade Secrets Act; Added Protection for Employers

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act — a broad federal law designed to give companies added protection.  It does not circumvent state law — indeed, where a state law is more protective of the trade secret, it still applies. Nevertheless, it provides a base level of uniformity nationwide. My colleagues, Pat Fahey… Continue Reading

Major Modifications to Immigration Programs May Cause Major Headaches

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations

Today, I’m delighted to bring you what I hope will be the first of several updates for employers from the immigration law perspective.  One of my newest colleagues, Ashley Mendoza, along with my law partner Brenda Eckert, have been tracking some of the newest rules for employers coming out of the Department of Homeland Security. … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Guidance on Employer-Provided Leave Under ADA

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

So, back in January, I penned a post titled “Can You Fire an Employee Who Has Exhausted FMLA Leave?” As if to respond, the EEOC yesterday released guidance that basically answers: Not necessarily, because it might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.  And that is the crux of the issue for employers. Before I go… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: New Non-Compete Restrictions for Physicians

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

Continuing my review of new employment-related bills is a measure that limits the use of non-compete agreements for doctors. Anyone who tracks bills knows that the name on the bill sometimes doesn’t match the content. Senate Bill 351 entitled “AN ACT CONCERNING MATTERS AFFECTING PHYSICIANS AND HOSPITALS” is a good case in point. Seems innocuous… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: CTFMLA Expands to Cover Military Qualifying Exigencies

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

UPDATED Continuing to recap various employment law bills out of the Connecticut General Assembly, the legislature passed a measure Wednesday night that brings Connecticut’s FMLA law more in line with the federal counterpart. The federal FMLA was amended back in 2008 (prior post on the subject here) to provide coverage for any “qualifying exigency” arising out… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Bi-weekly Payroll Periods (Without CTDOL Approval) are Here!

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

It’s been a long-time coming but the General Assembly finally approved of a measure that would allow employers to pay employees on a bi-weekly basis without receiving prior CTDOL approval. The provision, part of a set of “technical” revisions to various Department of Labor matters, is long overdue. Several employers had moved to a bi-weekly… Continue Reading