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Category Archives: Human Resources (HR) Compliance

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Winter Update: What You Might Have Missed in Employment Law

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

My colleagues at Shipman & Goodwin have, for a lot longer than I have been doing this blog, have been producing the Employment Law Letter recapping some stories you might have missed over each quarter or so. This week, a new newsletter was released and it touches on several topics of interest. It recaps a… Continue Reading

Independent Contractors: Can You Still Use Them?

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

A while back, I got this question: Can we still use independent contractors for our business? This answer is certainly yes. But you wouldn’t know it from all the headlines of late. And you wouldn’t think so by the attacks on the use of independent contractors by government agencies.  Take this quote from the U.S…. Continue Reading

Can You Fire An Employee Who Has Exhausted FMLA Leave?

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

An employee of yours goes out on medical leave. Suppose that you only have to abide by the federal FMLA law.  After 12 weeks, the employee is still out. Can you simply fire the employee? Well, the U.S. Department of Labor says “yes”.  Sort of. As part of a Q&A on the subject, the DOL… Continue Reading

An Explainer Video on OWBPA-Compliant Separation Agreements

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

As I keep trying new things for the blog, today I introduce an “explainer” video.  You’ve seen them before; it’s a short movie explaining a subject. Today’s topic is one I’ve touched on from time to time — separation agreements that comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Let me know what you think… Continue Reading

What’s Ahead in 2016 For Employment Law? Probably Not As Much As You Think

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Ah, predictions. Way back at the start of 2015, I made a series of predictions regarding employment law in the then-upcoming year. Not a lot of them occurred in exactly the same way I predicted. Sure, I talked about changes to the CHRO’s procedures, but my prediction regarding a Connecticut Supreme Court free speech case… Continue Reading

Watch the Employer Deductions — Except for One Special Case

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

Connecticut has pretty strict rules that employers must follow if they want to take deductions off of an employee’s salary.  Typically, an employer must seek CTDOL approval for all sorts of deductions, which I covered back in a 2012 post. But what happens if an employer makes a mistake on a paycheck and overpays an… Continue Reading

New Year, New Minimum Wage in Connecticut

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

For yet another year, Connecticut’s minimum wage is on the increase. Effective January 1, 2016, the Connecticut minimum wage will be raised to $9.60 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25, Connecticut employers must pay the higher rate under state law. The updated wage and hour law poster, including… Continue Reading

Tis the Season for Good Party Planning

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

It’s mostly a coincidence that my colleague, Jarad Lucan returns today with a post on a favorite topic of ours: Holiday parties.  While most of it isn’t groundbreaking (holiday parties haven’t changed all that much over the last decade), Jarad really focuses in on the key issues. So, enjoy your holiday parties over the next… Continue Reading

Win Some, Lose Some: Drug Testing Statutes Tricky to Navigate

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

Connecticut’s drug testing statutes applicable to employers have always been a bit tricky to follow.  I covered the basics of these laws back in 2010 (you’ve been reading that long, right?). For job applicants, employers must follow certain rules. Once an applicant becomes an employee, a new set of more stringent rules apply. But to… Continue Reading

Gender Identity Claims: Is It All About Restroom Access? Not Quite

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

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking before the Connecticut Bar Association’s LGBT Section regarding the status of transgender claims along with CHRO Staff Attorney Alix Simonetti.  My thanks to the section for the invitation.  It didn’t hurt that it was held at the Hartford Flavor Company, either. The talk was mainly informal but… Continue Reading

Anonymous Threats in Workplace Don’t Give Employers Free Pass to Ignore

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

As I return from an extended absence for the Thanksgiving holiday, my colleagues Gary Starr and Gabe Jiran share this alert about anonymous threats in the workplace based on a recent Circuit Court decision.  Employee complaints based on anonymous harassment pose special problems for employers.  How do you uncover the source of the problem when… Continue Reading

Employees Participating in Court Proceedings May Have Protection

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

My colleague, Jarad Lucan (who just won a New Leader of the Law award from the Connecticut Law Tribune!) returns today with a post about the protections employees who testify in court may have.  Most employers (at least those employers that read this blog on a regular basis) know that it is illegal to subject… Continue Reading

USDOL Final Revisions to White Collar Exemptions Coming in 2016

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

Over the next few days, I hope to provide a few updates from attending last week’s ABA Labor & Employment Law Annual Conference in Philadelphia.  There were many good, substantive programs there and lots to be gleaned for employers. One of the sessions focused on the proposed revisions to the white collar overtime exemptions that… Continue Reading

Employer Strikes Out; Facebook Likes Protected by NLRA, Says Second Circuit

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

On Friday, at my firm’s annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, I’ll be talking about the NLRB and Employee Handbooks with my colleague, Chris Engler.  Among the topics we had planned to discuss was the ongoing Triple Play Sports Bar & Grille case that I had previously posted about here and here. So of course… Continue Reading

You’re Fired! What Back to the Future Can Still Teach Us About the Workplace

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Confession: Back to the Future is my favorite movie (though ask me in two months and I’ll probably say it’s actually Star Wars — employment lawyer’s prerogative). So, how could I let “Back to the Future” day pass without an employment law-related post! For those (strange) people who don’t know what I’m talking about —… Continue Reading

Drafting Employment Agreements – What Can We Learn from Ralph Lauren

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

One of the little facts that’s not widely known is that the SEC typically publishes all sorts of executive employment agreements for publicly-traded companies.  They’re ready and available for download. Why might the average person do that? Well, for one, these agreements can sometimes contain the latest and greatest “crowd-sourced” language for executive agreements.  For… Continue Reading

When Parent Has Been Unlawfully Fired, Can Kids Sue Employer? Court Overrules Precedent

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

The Connecticut Law Tribune reported earlier this month on a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that, for the first time, allowed claims brought by kids to proceed based on injuries suffered by their parents. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have a new weapon in their arsenal. The state Supreme Court, in a split decision, has ruled that Connecticut… Continue Reading

Can You Keep a Secret in Human Resources?

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

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran another column in its Workalogist series that asked the following question: Are conversations with a human resources department confidential? I’m contemplating retirement in about three years and would like to gather benefit information from human resources now — but I do not want my supervisor to know…. Continue Reading

Despite Ruling, Free Speech Statute Continues To Offers Some Defenses

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

In two prior posts this week here and here, I talked about the significance of a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that has expanded the free speech rights of employees in the workplace. For more on the case itself, check out these articles from the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune But do employers… Continue Reading

Expanding Employee Free Speech Rights: How Bad Is the Court’s Decision for Employers?

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

In yesterday’s post, I alerted you to a new Connecticut Supreme Court decision (Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC) that expanded employee free speech rights under the Connecticut Constitution. But I wanted some time to think about the answer to the following question: How much did the court expand it? And to that question, there… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Connecticut Supreme Court Expands Employee Free Speech Claims

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

In an unanimous decision that was released late this morning, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the limits to free speech limits established by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Garcetti decision — namely that speech pursuant to an employee’s official job duties was not protected — did not apply to claims brought under the Connecticut… Continue Reading

A Final Look at CHRO Case Statistics – Part 3

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

So, in my prior two posts about the new case statistical reports from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, I’ve looked at the case statistics to see that harassment and terms & conditions claims are up, and that ancestry, race & color claims filed are also up. But what else can we glean… Continue Reading