Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Category Archives: Highlight

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Is Calling Your Boss “a Nasty Mother******” Protected Activity?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB

My colleague Gary Starr returns today with a decision from the Second Circuit (which covers Connecticut) that may just surprise you. Then again, if you’ve been following this line of reasoning, perhaps not. There are outer limits to insulting speech, but a recent decision seems to indicate that it is really really far out there. The questions up… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: Workplace Complaints and Happy Endings As Rare As Unicorn Frappuccinos?

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

The Dialogue — one of the more popular recurring posts — returns for the third time. Does that mean the third time’s the charm? Or is it three strikes and we’re out? In any event, Nina Pirrotti of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald and Pirrotti, P.C. returns for this installment where an employee-side and employer-side attorney discuss the… Continue Reading

Starting May 1, 2017 USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

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

Part of an employer’s job is to review I-9 documentation at the start of employment, including Green Cards. But for employers, knowing what is real vs. fake, can be an issue.  My colleagues have prepared this update to one form of documentation that you should be on the lookout for.  The change is happening sooner… Continue Reading

Title VII and Sexual Orientation Debate Largely Moot in Connecticut

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Over the last week or so, there have been two prominent Circuit Court decisions addressing whether Title VII (the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and national origin) can be interpreted to also protect employees from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The Second Circuit, which… Continue Reading

HR’s Increasing Role in Ensuring Data Privacy

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to the Colonial Total Rewards Association on the topic of Data Privacy and HR.  I titled the presentation “Is Your HR Data Going Rogue” and really focused on the role that Human Resources professionals should play in ensuring that company data is secured. For those who have… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Restaurant Cannot Apply Tip Credit to Pizza Delivery Drivers

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

The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision that will be officially released April 4, 2017, has ruled that employers may not use the “tip credit” for pizza delivery drivers and therefore, the employees must be paid the standard minimum wage. You can download the decision in Amaral Brothers, Inc. v. Department of Labor here. … Continue Reading

What Does “At Will” Employment Really Mean?

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

Years ago, I recall having a friendly conversation with another attorney in Connecticut where the topic turned to the notion of “At Will” employment. When we couldn’t settle on an answer, we moved on to talking about whether the Hartford Whalers would ever come back. I think we had a better answer for that question:… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rejects Employee’s Trypanophobia Claim

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

You don’t need to look for a needle in a haystack to figure out this latest case from the Second Circuit. But you do need to know what “trypanophobia” is. Ready? Fear of needles. That becomes important in a Second Circuit court decision yesterday holding that an employee’s fear of needles prevented that employee from… Continue Reading

Four Compliance Items Connecticut Employers Can Check Now

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

It’s a challenge for employers to keep up with changes to employment laws. What’s the current status? What do I need to change? So, here are four quick things you can look at right now to ensure that you are up to compliance in Connecticut. Connecticut increased the minimum wage effective January 1, 2017.  It’s now… Continue Reading

Where Are Your Employees? (Hint: It May Not Be Facebook Anymore)

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

I recently gave a presentation on social media to a local non-profit and had the opportunity to review some of the latest statistics when it comes to the use of social media. Frankly, I knew that there has been a shift away from Facebook for some younger people but even I was surprised by the… Continue Reading

A Rare Look Into An Employee’s Duty of Loyalty to the Employer

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

After nine-plus years of writing about employment law in Connecticut, it’s getting to be pretty rare to find a topic that I haven’t at least touched upon, but here’s one: The Duty of Loyalty. Indeed, a new Connecticut Supreme Court case is giving me the opportunity to do so. The case arises from an employee who,… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: What Legislation We’re Keeping Our Eyes On

Posted in Highlight, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

If at first you succeed, try it again.  Well, that may not be how the saying goes, but the first back-and-forth post between me and Nina Pirrotti, an employee-side attorney, was so well received that we’re back for another conversation.  Today’s topic: What legislation are we both keeping our eyes out for at the Connecticut… Continue Reading

Breaking: Conn. Supreme Court Clarifies ABC Test for Independent Contractors

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

I’m back with news of a relatively big decision today from the Connecticut Supreme Court. In the decision, the Court clarified an important question that the Connecticut Department of Labor had been pushing hard.  It will be welcome news for businesses in the state. The issue was this: If an independent contractor (and his or… Continue Reading

No Love for Guns in Workplace Is Protected, Court Finds

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

While the calendar may read Valentine’s Day, I’ve tackled more than my fair share of love-themed posts in the past filled with roses and chocolates. So instead, I’m going to go in a different direction entirely: Guns. (Though query whether the music group Guns ‘n’ Roses would care to disagree with me.) See, there was… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: Hiring Employees the Right Way (From Different Sides)

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

I’ll confess. I’m excited about today’s post.  It’s hard to find something new to do after nearly 10 years of blogging, but I think today’s post is pretty innovative. Unless you read The New York Times “The Conversation” which we’ve tried to copy emulate here.  Except this post (and hopefully others) will be called “The Dialogue”.  Somehow different,… Continue Reading

Mary Tyler Moore Taught Us One of the Best Employment Discrimination Lessons

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

Mary Richards’ job interview with Lou Grant is, perhaps one of the most famous job interviews ever. So says Time magazine. Before I go on, though, there are probably more than a few of you who don’t know what I’m talking about. But with the passing of Mary Tyler Moore earlier today here in Connecticut,… Continue Reading

Could “The Last Jedi” Actually Be Practicing Religion in Your Workplace?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

Yesterday, news came out that Episode 8 (I mean, VIII) of the Star Wars series would be named “The Last Jedi”. Which reminded me about an article in The New York Times I saw a few weeks ago that I had been meaning to write about. Turns out there are, according a BBC report cited… Continue Reading

New York (State and City) Imposes New Rules for Freelancers, State Contracts

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

My colleagues, Clarisse Thomas, Keegan Drenosky and I have been busy keeping track of the developments in New York which may impact Connecticut employers with cross-border business.  Here are two of the most recent developments. Freelance Isn’t Free The New York City Council has enacted and the Mayor has signed a new law applicable to… Continue Reading

Connecticut Legislative Session Preview: Is a New State Overtime Rule In Play?

Posted in Highlight, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

The Connecticut General Assembly is back in session and with significant budget deficits looming, it’s not going to be an easy year for legislators. From a labor and employment law session, once again it will be interesting to see what will be seriously considered. A Bloomberg Law article late last week suggested that Democrats in… Continue Reading

Protecting Confidential Information from Untrustworthy Employees

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

My colleague Gary Starr returns today with a story worth reading about the need for employers to secure confidential information.  Although it is based on Massachusetts, the concepts it covers may have some carryover to employers elsewhere as well.   Employers that maintain records of their employees and customers and allow employees have access to confidential… Continue Reading

Punitive Damages Not Available For State Employment Discrimination Claims

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

In a decision that will be officially released next week, the Connecticut Supreme Court has, at last, ruled that punitive damages are not an available remedy for state law employment discrimination claims. You may recall that I discussed the Appellate Court’s decision that had originally found the same thing back in 2015.  The case, Tomick… Continue Reading

Looking Back and Ahead to Employment Law in 2017

Posted in Highlight, Legislative Developments

For many years, I’ve used my first post each year to look back and ahead at the area of employment law.  My record of predictions has been about what you would expect someone predicting the future — about average. Last year at this time, I said a few things though that seem to resonate with… Continue Reading

General Assembly Committee Releases Report Critical of CHRO Complaint Processing

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments

Last week, the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee released a 129-page report on the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, with a focus on Discrimination Complaint Processing.  You can download it here. The report is worth a deep dive at another time, and a final report from the Committee is due in January 2017…. Continue Reading

Deep Dive Into CHRO Case Statistics Show Increases in “Harassment” Claims

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

As I did last year, after I posted on the general statistics of the CHRO to see if we could glean any trends, I took a deeper dive into what the statistics this year show.  And there were definitely a few surprises. Obviously, at the risk of repeating yesterday’s post, FY 2015-2016 was a very big… Continue Reading