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Category Archives: Human Resources (HR) Compliance

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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

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

Phishing Scam Targets HR Professionals By Seeking W-2s

Posted in Data Privacy, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

With the new year upon us, cyberthieves are once again attempting to prey on unwitting HR professionals, as my colleague William Roberts explained in an article last week for SHRM on phishing. The scam goes like this. As an HR professional, you get an e-mail from your boss (or your boss’s boss) that seems legitimate…and… 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

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

CHRO Acknowledges Faults with Case Assessment Review Process But A Fix May Be Hard

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

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel discussion sponsored by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Charles Krich, a Principal Attorney, also spoke and it was moderated by Deputy Director Cheryl Sharp. The purpose of the discussion, before dozens of practitioners in the state, was to look at the state of affairs at… Continue Reading

If You Do Any Hiring, New I-9 Forms Must be Used Effective January 2017

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

So did everyone enjoy Thanksgiving? I’m still recovering from my vacation so in the meantime, my colleagues, Brenda Eckert and Ashley Mendoza, return today with a post about updated I-9 forms that all employers MUST start using in January 2017.  If you do any hiring, this post ought to be front and center to fulfill… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Back to the Basics on Sexual Harassment Prevention

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

Wrapping up my look back this shortened week at some “Basics” posts, here’s a reminder of the obligations employers have to conduct sexual harassment prevention trainings.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for your continued readership.   With every new law that gets passed, it’s easy to overlook the existing requirements that employers must follow…. Continue Reading

From the Archives: The Basics of Agriculture’s Exemption to Wage/Hour Laws

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

Continuing a look back at some “basics” posts you might have missed, back in 2009, I tackled an exemption that may be overlooked when it comes to employment laws.   Connecticut has a proud history of farms. Many, like Lyman Orchards, have been passed down for many generations. (And if you’ve never visited Lyman Orchards, don’t… Continue Reading

From the Archives: The Basics of Bereavement Leaves in Connecticut

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

As I noted last week, I’m taking a few days off from the blog. In the meantime, I’m going to be re-running a few posts from my “Basics” series way back in 2008-9 that you might have missed. I hope you find them helpful. During the summer last year, I started a weekly series of posts about… Continue Reading

The Best Laid Plans on Overtime, Or, When “Stuff” Happens

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

I had a lot of plans this week to do another deep dive into an employment law issue but then, well, let’s just say life happens. Among the things? Lots of questions from clients about the new overtime rules.  While everyone has had months to plan, there are definitely a few procrastinators out there. But… Continue Reading

Employers May Seek More Than Just a “Doctor’s Note” For FMLA Certification

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

Over the years, one of my favorite employment law blogs has been Jeff Nowak’s FMLA Insights.  He really takes a deep dive into the subject and I’ve had the opportunity over the years to exchange ideas with Jeff. Recently, he alerted me to a new federal court decision in Connecticut that may have a significant… Continue Reading

Employers, Employees and Reasonable Accommodations: A Webinar

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

Tomorrow, I’ll be part of a webinar produced by the American Bar Association on reasonable accommodations under the ADA.  You can still sign up here. The topic page for the webinar gives a fairly concise summary: A reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is any modification or adjustment to a job or… Continue Reading

What Not to Do: Tips from the Ultimate Office Holiday Party Movie Trailer

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I don’t know about you but the news lately has been awfully serious lately.  Thus, on this Friday before Election Day, let me share something a bit lighter. So last night, I started watching a few popcorn movie trailers to get my mind off things while finishing up some work.  Sure, there was Star Wars:… Continue Reading

Restroom Access and Transgender Issues in the Workplace Go Supreme

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

I still remain amazed at the sold-out crowd we had at last week’s Labor & Employment Law seminar.  Well over 250 people registered for the program and I kind of wanted to whisper to people: “You know this is just a LEGAL seminar, right?” But no matter. Employment law issues are as popular as ever and… Continue Reading