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

Tag Archives: workplace

Your Workplace Is Going Viral #AlexfromTarget

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

For employers, the power of the Internet is pretty scary at times. The latest meme to hit the Internet won’t change that view. Sometime yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, someone tweeted a picture of a worker from a Target store. His name is “Alex”. We know this because of his name tag. And apparently he’s cute and teenagers started… Continue Reading

The Surprising Answer on Whether Employees Can Record Your Workplace Conversation

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight

On Friday, I talked to over 150 attendees of our Labor & Employment seminar about workplace surveillance and monitoring. Some of the discussion focused on whether employers can do the recording; but what about employees? This is not some theoretical question. More and more employees are recording conversations at their workplaces on smartphones, according to recent… Continue Reading

Guest Post: When “Disruptive” Technology Hits Your Workplace, What Then?

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

Today, I’m pleased to highlight a guest post from Steven Scheinberg, the General Counsel of the Anti-Defamation League. I’ve known Steven for several years and was very happy when he offered to share his thoughts on this important topic.  Steve actually practiced at a prominent plaintiff’s employment law firm in Connecticut many years ago now so… 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

Oh Lucy! Accommodations for Religious Beliefs and Disabilities Apply Different Standards

Posted in Uncategorized

Here’s a hypothetical: A observant Jewish worker who is a recent leg amputee comes to you seeking an “accommodation”.  She works on the candy wrapping line that requires constant supervision and is staffed by only one or two people typically.  She seeks to leave her shift 4 hours early on Fridays to observe the Jewish sabbath.  She also seeks to take frequent breaks to rest for her… 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

What an Employment Lawyer Can Learn From Minecraft (or Not)

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Over the last few years, my kids have started to get interested in this “thing” called a blog. “What do you write about?” Um, employment law issues, I’d reply. And then I’d say something about how I talk about things that happen at work. Recently, they asked if I had written about their passion.  (Disappointingly, when… Continue Reading

A Small Bite Here, A Nibble There, Workplace Violence Lessons Everywhere

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

It’s a big day today.  The U.S. plays Belgium in the World Cup this afternoon. We’ve already covered it twice from a workplace morale and absence perspective, so we thought it appropriate to revisit perhaps the most notorious incident of the World Cup so far: A Workplace Violence Incident. My colleague, Chris Engler, gives us… Continue Reading

For Connecticut Employers, First Amendment Case Will Have a Small Impact

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

Much will be written about the new First Amendment free-speech-in-the-workplace case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court today. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them say nearly the same thing — that testimony by an employee who has been subpoenaed outside the course of his or her job responsibilities is now protected… Continue Reading

World Cup Fever: Workplace Considerations Before Giving Out That Red Card

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

Among the things I like about having a blog as long as I’ve had is that it provides a snapshot back in history. Back in 2010, I did a post about how the World Cup would likely disrupt the workplace with everything from streaming videos to vacation time being used.  I noted that even then,… Continue Reading

Dazed and Confused About Medical Marijuana in the Workplace? Dude, It’s Just Starting

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

The news this week that Connecticut has given its approval to four medical marijuana growers in Simsbury, West Haven, Portland, and Watertown, inches the state that much closer to full implementation of the medical marijuana law that was passed in 2012. The state also reported that over 1600 individuals in Connecticut have been certified by… Continue Reading

Telling the Victim in a Harassment Case to Just Fight Back or Toughen Up Is Not a Solution

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

The sports headlines this week have turned into news ones.  One football player on the Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito, is accused of harassing (bullying? hazing?) another player, Jonathan Martin.  The details are still being determined so despite the media jumping to conclusions, it really does seem too soon to enter a final judgment on the entire incident.  But… Continue Reading

What Makes a Workplace a Great Place to Work?

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

The Hartford Courant and Fox CT last week released their list of “Top Workplaces” in the Greater Hartford area. In a column accompanying it, columnist Dan Haar suggests the ingredients that go into a good place to work: Passion, Freedom & Direction. He states: One common thread is a system that shows respect for employees… Continue Reading

Court: Connecticut Constitution Provides Greater Free Speech Rights For Employees

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Does the Connecticut Constitution provide an independent and greater right of free speech for public (and even private) employees than the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitition? That was a question left unanswered in last year’s precedent-setting Schumann decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that I handled, where the court stated: “We decline to reach the state constitutional… Continue Reading

Ten of the Best Workplace Songs for Labor Day

Posted in Highlight

It’s Friday before Labor Day. Is anyone there?  If you are, you are probably watching every phone call and e-mail with an eye towards the clock too.  The unofficial end of summer is upon us (time to get your ice cream soda.) So, rather than recap the basis for Labor Day (which I’ve done before… Continue Reading

Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away; NLRB Agrees

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB, Social Media

Kodachrome You give us those nice bright colors You give us the greens of summers Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah! I got a Nikon camera I love to take a photograph So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away – Paul Simon, “Kodachrome” A few months back, I was one… Continue Reading

The Next Frontier for NLRB: Videos & Photos in the Workplace?

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB, Social Media

At the Connecticut Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, NLRB Boston Regional Director Jonathan Kreisberg gave a thorough update on the agenda of the federal agency. While most of the discussion focused on the latest pronouncements of social media, during my presentation on Vine and other photo/video social media sites, he also mentioned something that hasn’t often… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: From I-9s to Workplace Surveillance

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

The Connecticut Law Tribune’s quarterly supplement on Labor & Employment Law was published this week and as usual, it is chock full of articles of relevance to attorneys and employers.  Many of the topics have been covered here in the blog, but the additional analysis and discussion on the topics make them useful.  You can… Continue Reading

The Underside of Vine: Another Headache for Employers

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

As I highlighted last month, Vine – a new video-sharing app — is quickly infiltrating the workplace.  Since my original post, I’ve been keeping tabs on what people are doing on it. And it isn’t pretty.  Videos seem to be increasing with people using hashtags like “#work” or “#worksucks” daily.  They are also using hashtags… Continue Reading

Workplace Issues Now Grow on “Vines”; Why Employers Need a Policy More Than Ever

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

As I said in an earlier post, I’ll be speaking about Social Media and the Workplace, as part of WESFACCA’s “Day of Privacy” presentation later this week.  One of items I hope to touch on is the fact that with the proliferation of apps and social media, it is growing increasingly difficult for employers to catch up…. Continue Reading

WESFACCA’s “A Day of Privacy”: Social Media & The Workplace

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

On Thursday, April 18th, the Westchester/Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (known as “WESFACCA”) holds an event that you’re not going to want to miss. Entitled “KEEP IT SECRET. KEEP IT SAFE. Privacy Developments, Requirements and Practical Applications for Corporate Legal Counsel”, the day-long program in Darien, Connecticut, will focus on things… Continue Reading

Employees Who Smoke (Part II) – The Exception for Health Insurance Plans

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

So yesterday, I made a convincing case that employees who smoke outside the workplace can’t be treated differently than your non-smokers.  But what about your health insurance plans? Doesn’t the state law prohibit your plan from imposing higher premium costs on those smokers? Well on first glance it appears yes.  The state law would seem to… Continue Reading

Refusing to Hire People Who Smoke: The Connecticut Ban

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

When I was away last week, one of the headlines from my alma mater caught my attention.  The University of Pennsylvania Health System announced that effective July 1st, they will refuse to hire anyone who smokes or uses tobacco. No doubt some of you are either lauding this step, or shaking your head in disgust. Could an… Continue Reading

Tragedy

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I had another post scheduled to go up this morning, but the news of the Newtown elementary school shooting makes it irrelevant.  As of midday Friday, the reported death toll was 27, with over a dozen kids included. As a father myself, the news is horrifying.  Absolutely horrifying.  A few years ago, there was another mass shooting… Continue Reading