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Category Archives: Human Resources (HR) Compliance

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Bully For You? Not When It Comes To Workplace Bullying

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

One of things I try to do on this blog is look through our crystal ball and focus on topic that may be on the horizon. For some time now, workplace bullying has seemed to be one of those issues. I’ve touched on it before, but today my colleague Chris Parkin is back with some… Continue Reading

Four Things To Do Now BEFORE An Employee Data Breach

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

With the headlines coming out seemingly daily about data breaches at companies, there’s a tendency to feel a bit overwhelmed with the problem. And while a data breach regarding your employees is something that may not be as imminent as one involving credit cards, it still represents a major threat to your business. This week,… Continue Reading

Court’s Decision on Severance Agreements Avoids Central Issues

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Just a quick followup today on a post from last month. As I reported then, a District Court judge dismissed a closely-watched EEOC lawsuit against CVS challenging a pretty standard severance agreement.  But the grounds for the dismissal were unknown back then. The wait is over; the written decision was released yesterday.  For those that were hoping that… Continue Reading

Employees Can Break Data Privacy Rules Too

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

When we think about protecting customer and employee data, we often think that the biggest hazards are outside hackers. But a recently publicized incident involving AT&T shows that the threats may also be from within. As The New York Times reported: “[I]t serves as a cautionary tale about the types of information that employees at… Continue Reading

Is “Name, Rank, Serial Number” The Best Policy on Job References?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Your former employee wants a job reference.  Do you provide just the basics to his potential employers — namely, confirming dates of employment and his last position — or something more? And what are the legal risks of doing so? The topic is far from new on this blog (see this post from 2007 here, for example). … Continue Reading

The Five Questions You Can’t Ask At A Job Interview

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

Six years ago, posts about layoffs were in vogue.  But it’s been a long while since we focused on posts about hiring. With the economy generally stable (or shall we dare say improving?), it seems appropriate to talk about job interview questions. There are lots of posts about the “best” job interview questions you can pose… Continue Reading

A Decade Later, Breastfeeding in the Workplace Laws See Healthy Adoption

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

Over ten years ago, Connecticut became one of the first states to mandate that employers “make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.” I’ve discussed that law in depth in a prior… Continue Reading

Are You a Joint Employer? It May Depend on the Court’s Test

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

Can an employee work for more than one employer at the same time? Under a theory of law called “joint employment”, the answer is yes. But how do you make that determination? Suppose a private bus company provides services all over Connecticut. It’s largest customer happens to be a very large private university in the state. The… Continue Reading

Julia Roberts Would Not Be Impressed: Mystic Pizza Cited for Wage/Hour Violations

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

Oh, Mystic Pizza! In Connecticut, we all know that Mystic Pizza isn’t the best pizza in the state.  (I’m not even going to get into the argument about Pepe’s, Sally’s, or Modern in New Haven.)  One of my favorites is actually Harry’s Bishops Corner. But Mystic Pizza still has a place in many of our hearts… Continue Reading

Followup: Court Dismisses EEOC Lawsuit Challenging CVS Separation Agreement

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

Back in February, I talked about how a lawsuit brought by the EEOC against CVS challenging the company’s standard separation agreement could be a big deal “if the EEOC prevails”. But I cautioned about drawing any sweeping conclusions just then stating: ”My gut tells me that the courts are not likely to view the government’s arguments with favor…. Continue Reading

56 Million Reasons Why Your HR Department Needs Better Data Security

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

Okay, okay.  I realize the headline is a bit misleading.  But it isn’t every day that you hear about a data breach at Home Depot in which 56 MILLION credit cards may have been hacked. To put that into perspective, that’s 16 million MORE than the infamous Target breach! But this is an employment law… Continue Reading

“Consider” This Important: Employment Contracts Are a Two-Way Street

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

My colleague Chris Engler reports today on a new Connecticut Appellate Court case that focuses on a often misunderstood concept in employment contracts — the need for “consideration”.  What was it that Dire Straits’ sang about in the 1980s? Getting “Money for Nothing”? We’ve all been told that you can’t get something for nothing.  That… Continue Reading

How Long Can You Enforce a Non-Compete Agreement For?

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

Back in June, I talked about the standard that courts will follow in deciding whether or not to enforce a non-compete agreement between an employer and an employee.  (Go read it here first.) But many employers want to know something more straightforward: How long can I make the restrictive covenant in my agreement; in other… Continue Reading

Domestic Violence Awareness: Resources for Employers

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

This post is not going to discuss, in my view, the NFL’s inadequate response over the years to domestic violence incidents by players in the league.  (If you want to listen to a full take down of the NFL, I recommend Slate’s The Gist podcast from yesterday.) Rather, I want to talk today about how… Continue Reading

Fantasy Football: A Real and Present Danger to the Workplace?

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

A confession first: I’m in a fantasy football league. Actually two of them.  It’s fun and makes weekend football watching a heck of a lot more interesting. But did you know that fantasy football has led to all sorts of real issues in the workplace? Well, longtime readers may remember an incident from five years… Continue Reading

Restrictive Covenants in Connecticut: Win Some, Lose Some for Employers

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

In the July/August issue of the Connecticut Lawyer magazine, attorney Joseph Blyskal has the first of a two-part article on the state of restrictive covenants in employment agreements in Connecticut.  I’ve talked about this several times before (most recently earlier this summer), but the Connecticut Lawyer article is recommended reading as well (it’s behind a paywall). It’s worth reviewing… Continue Reading

Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media Employment Screening

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

You just finished interviewing a great candidate for a manager-level position at your company.  She looks great on paper and interviewed well. But you’re wondering: What dark secrets about her loom on Facebook? After all, you did see that tattoo on her arm and she mentioned a fun time at Bonnaroo 2013. “Maybe there are… Continue Reading

A Cold Shower for Workplace Ice Bucket Challenges?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Let’s state the obvious first: We’re in favor of anything that raises awareness to the issue of ALS and #icebucketchallenge has done that and more.  And for the record, I did the challenge last weekend, after being suitably doused by my kids. (My friend, Robert Becker, posted a clip from mine here.) But my colleague… Continue Reading

Save the Date: “Raiders of the Data Ark” Is a Blockbuster Coming Soon

Posted in Data Privacy, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

First off, I should let you know that I am a poor substitute for Harrison Ford. But, don’t let that dissuade you from saving October 16th as the date for a terrific conference that I’m helping to plan.  The title is “Raiders of the Data Ark” and the subject is “2014 Data Privacy & Cyber… Continue Reading

Paper Trail: DOJ Brings Issue of Hiring Documentation to Forefront

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

Late Friday, you might have (ok, I’m sure you did) missed a press release from the United States Department of Justice announcing a settlement with a staffing agency in California. The charge? That a staffing company “discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).” Now, I’m sure you all… Continue Reading

Coping With Mental Disorders: An Employer’s Obligations

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

My colleague, Chris Engler, returns with another stellar post today tying in the news of the week.   Although you may have read a lot about Robin Williams this week, I encourage you to read one more.  As everyone knows by now, comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away on Monday after a long struggle with… Continue Reading

ABA Approves Model Workplace Policy on Employer Responses to Domestic Violence

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

One of the roles that I relish is being a member of the American Bar Assocation’s House of Delegates for several terms now.   The ABA adopts certain policies at its Annual Meeting and uses its bully-pulpit to try to get such policies enacted at the federal, state or local level.At this year’s meeting, which took… Continue Reading

Do Camp Counselors and Baby Sitters Have to be Paid Minimum Wage?

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

My kids are at overnight camp this week and of course, my brain never stops thinking about cute employment law lessons that can be gleaned from everyday experiences. So, you may wonder: do camp counselors who, after all, spend 24/7 with the kids, have to be paid minimum wage? And what about babysitters that you… Continue Reading

Three Things Employers Can Do Right Now to Ensure Employment Law Compliance

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

While the temperature hasn’t felt like summer in Connecticut the last few days, judging by the traffic this morning, there are lots of you on vacation this week. If you’re one of the (un)lucky ones working this week, perhaps you have a few extra minutes to tackle some projects that have been on the back burner. In… Continue Reading