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

Category Archives: Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Subscribe to Human Resources (HR) Compliance RSS Feed

Legislative Update: Pregnancy Discrimination Protections Under State Law Changing?

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

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Connecticut House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that would greatly expand the already broad anti-discrimination provision that exist under Connecticut law.  The bill, House Bill 6668, would make several substantive changes to the protections including defining what is a “reasonable accommodation” instead of leaving that determination open. I’ve previously… Continue Reading

In Firing Employees, A Bit of Humanity Still Helps

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

Your employee that you are firing should not hear about his firing from a television report first. I suppose that would seem an obvious rule to follow. But apparently not. Let me back up. Earlier today, the President fired FBI Director James Comey — an act that really is more for politics blogs, than an employment… Continue Reading

Citing Statistics, Yankee Institute Critical of CHRO — Again

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

This week, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, a self-described “free market” think tank, issued an article suggesting that Connecticut had nearly the same number of discrimination complaints as our neighboring state, Massachusetts. (This isn’t the first time it’s been critical of the CHRO.) In doing so, the Yankee Institute claimed that these statistics raise… Continue Reading

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

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

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