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Category Archives: Highlight

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Shared Work Program Gets a Refresh With New Regulations from Connecticut Department of Labor

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

One of the better programs run by the Connecticut Department of Labor that gets almost zero publicity is the “Shared Work” program.  For employers, it’s a useful tool when you’re dealing with a temporary slowdown in work. I talked about it five (!) years ago in the midst of the recession so I’m not going… Continue Reading

Everything You Need To Know About New Labor & Employment Laws

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

With the dog days of summer firmly upon us, it’s a good time to catch up on some items that you might have put aside. One of those items is reviewing the new Connecticut laws that go into effect (mainly) later this year. Fortunately, my colleagues have prepared a great summary of what transpired at… Continue Reading

Minimum Daily Earnings Guarantee (or Reporting Time) Already a Rule For Some Employers

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

This week, one of Connecticut’s own, Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the “Schedules That Work Act” bill in Congress.  It would ostensibly help part-time workers secure stable schedules. It would, among other things “ensure employees get two weeks notice about their work schedules, as well as extra pay to compensate for last minute changes”, as summed up by The… Continue Reading

What an Employment Lawyer Can Learn From Minecraft (or Not)

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Over the last few years, my kids have started to get interested in this “thing” called a blog. “What do you write about?” Um, employment law issues, I’d reply. And then I’d say something about how I talk about things that happen at work. Recently, they asked if I had written about their passion.  (Disappointingly, when… Continue Reading

Accommodating Employees’ Religious Beliefs: A Primer on “Sincerely Held”

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides protection to closely held corporations to refuse, for religious reasons, to provide birth control methods and services to employees under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, the issue of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs has… Continue Reading

The Employment Law Exemption for “Religious Corporations” You Never Knew About

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

Over the past month, after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, much has been made in the press about how it is unprecedented for the court to consider a company’s religious beliefs in making its decisions. The issue of taking into account a corporation’s religious belief in the workplace has been also catapulted to the center of… Continue Reading

EEOC Declines a “Pregnant” Pause; New Guidance Awaits Supreme Court Decision

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

Last week, my colleagues Peter Murphy and Harrison Smith, offered to write about the latest developments in the law regarding pregnancy.  The post was scheduled to come out today, when, much to our surprise, the EEOC yesterday afternoon released long-awaited guidance on the subject. So much for that post! After a quick rewrite last night,… Continue Reading

Married Men with Stay-at-Home Wives Have Negative Attitudes Of Working Women, Study Says

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

Gender bias in the workplace is the subject of hundreds of scholarly articles and even more cases by courts. But a recently-published study looked at whether the working status of a married man affects the man’s attitude of women in the workplace. The conclusion? It’s not pretty. We found that marriage structure has important implications… Continue Reading

Law Tribune’s Editorial on “Downright Coercive” Employment Arbitration Clauses Is Off-Base

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

It’s hard to read the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Editorial this week on “The Problem of Workplace Arbitration Clauses” with a straight face. It is dripping with sarcasm, filled with sweeping generalities, and reserves its greatest enmity for employers and the lawyers that represent them. If the editorial is to be believed, employers and their lawyers apparently routinely use “deceptive”… Continue Reading

Telling Employee He Is “Eligible” For Bonus Not Enough to Create Contractual Obligation

Posted in Highlight, Litigation

Back from a long holiday weekend, my colleague Chris Parkin this morning takes a look at a new Connecticut Appellate Court case about employee compensation.   A new case that will be officially released tomorrow reminds employers to take care with their words and promises when it comes to employee compensation. The facts of the case… Continue Reading

A Small Bite Here, A Nibble There, Workplace Violence Lessons Everywhere

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

It’s a big day today.  The U.S. plays Belgium in the World Cup this afternoon. We’ve already covered it twice from a workplace morale and absence perspective, so we thought it appropriate to revisit perhaps the most notorious incident of the World Cup so far: A Workplace Violence Incident. My colleague, Chris Engler, gives us… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Narrow Rulings Leave Questions for Connecticut Employers

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

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning came out with two controversial decisions that will impact employers in Connecticut. The first one, Harris v. Quinn, dealt with whether non-union public employees could be forced to pay union dues.  The court issued a relatively narrow holding, ruling that “partial” public employees could not be required to do so. … Continue Reading

Why I Write: Reflections of the Connecticut Employment Law Blog

Posted in Highlight

For a special weekend post, this will be something a little different. Earlier this month, I was “tagged” in another blog post in something called a “blog hop”.  It’s basically a common-themed post that runs like a chain letter from blog to blog.  The topic is on writing.  (I’m grateful to Jennifer Romig on her… Continue Reading

A Note from the U.S. Coach is a Great Idea, But Not a Good Excuse

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

First off, let me say that I’m really obsessed with enjoying this year’s World Cup. But Thursday presents some special problems for employers.  The United States Men’s Team has a very important game at 12 ET.  Right in the middle of the lunch hour (or two?).  Beat or tie Germany and the U.S. is through to… Continue Reading

You Be The “Judge”: Is Swearing at Work Protected by Federal Law?

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

Let’s try something a little new today: I’ll give you some facts and see if you can pick the result that a court or agency found. (Hat tip to Overlawyered for highlighting some of these issues.)  I’ll give you the lesson learned from these cases at the end. Used Car Salesman Loses Temper 1.  Nick… Continue Reading

For Connecticut Employers, First Amendment Case Will Have a Small Impact

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

Much will be written about the new First Amendment free-speech-in-the-workplace case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court today. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them say nearly the same thing — that testimony by an employee who has been subpoenaed outside the course of his or her job responsibilities is now protected… Continue Reading

What’s New at the CHRO? Commission Chair Collins Shares His Perspective

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

At Monday’s Connecticut Legal Conference, CHRO Chair Gary Collins spoke for a bit about the developments at the oft-maligned agency since he’s come on board.  (You can follow all the tweets from the conference on Twitter using #ctlegalconf as the hashtag.)While he joked that attendees could just read this blog to find out what was going… Continue Reading

EEOC’s David Lopez Addresses Connecticut Bar Association

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

The Connecticut Legal Conference on Monday (produced by the Connecticut Bar Association) had several noteworthy programs, including a few on labor & employment law.  In today’s post, I’m going to recap the presentation by David Lopez, the current EEOC General Counsel.   He talked about the Top 10 Developments in EEOC Litigation over the last… Continue Reading

World Cup Fever: Workplace Considerations Before Giving Out That Red Card

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

Among the things I like about having a blog as long as I’ve had is that it provides a snapshot back in history. Back in 2010, I did a post about how the World Cup would likely disrupt the workplace with everything from streaming videos to vacation time being used.  I noted that even then,… Continue Reading

Court: Contract That Allows Employer to Raise Employee’s Salary Also Means No Decreases

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

So, remember back in February where I noted that employers ought to “consider having an attorney review some of your [employment] agreements … [because sometimes,] poor drafting can sometimes be avoided by having an attorney involved”? We have another appellate court case that emphasizes that point quiet well in Stratford v. Winterbottom. The case involves a town… Continue Reading

Picking a Fight: The State of the Law for Noncompete Agreements in Connecticut

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

The New York Times this morning has an article that suggests that non-compete agreements are being used increasingly in a broader array of jobs. His evidence? Well, the article doesn’t cite that. Though, to the reporter’s credit, in noting the discussion going on in Massachusetts over legislation on the topic, he cites to a trade… Continue Reading

Throwback Thursday: Why Your Offer Letters and Employee Handbooks Have Disclaimers #tbt

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

On Twitter and Facebook, the concept of “Throwback Thursday” (or #tbt) has become quite popular.  Typically, it’s a picture from long ago that you’ve forgotten.The theory behind why its so popular is that there is still gold to be mined out of older things. I was thinking about that concept lately when it comes to blogs and employment… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Connecticut DOL Releases New FMLA Regulations for School Paraprofessionals

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

You won’t find it (at least easily) on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website.  (The Department’s FMLA page is void of any reference as well.)   But late last month the CTDOL quietly released new regulations governing FMLA leave rights to school paraprofessionals.  I’ve asked my colleagues, Jessica Ritter and Henry Zaccardi, to recap the… Continue Reading

Wait, “Inflexible” Leave Policies Are Actually Okay? Sometimes.

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

So last month we talked about how an employer may, in some circumstances, need to give additional leave as an accommodation above and beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Today, my colleague Clarisse Thomas shows how the law in this area really is still developing.  She highlights a new case that comes to a different… Continue Reading