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

Tag Archives: workplace

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

Federal Court Suggests Connecticut Constitution Protects Private Employee Speech

Posted in Litigation

Earlier this summer, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued two decisions that held that the free speech protections in Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-51q were limited by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos.  To grossly oversimplify, an employee (public or private) whose speech related to their official job duties, was not entitled to protection. In… Continue Reading

Summer Reading: Is the “Mommy Porn” in “Fifty Shades of Grey” Workplace Safe?

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

Is someone bringing “Mommy Porn” (The New York Times words, not mine) into the workplace? Yes, THAT book, 50 Shades of Grey, has been making the rounds. And chances are, with Memorial Day weekend upon us, more than a few people will be bringing it to the beach, or perhaps to the lunch room next… Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Bill Includes Restrictions For Employers

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

The General Assembly over the weekend passed a comprehensive bill that permits individuals to use marijuana for palliative purposes.  The bill is expected to be signed by the Governor this month. Besides just permitting individuals to use marijuana, it has several important provisions that will impact employers in Connecticut.  Unfortunately, as the history of medical marijuana… Continue Reading

A Day of Social Media for Employers — A Workshop Through WESFACCA

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

850 million people on Facebook can’t be wrong, can they? A large group of in-house counsel at major Connecticut and New York companies don’t think so.  They understand that social media is not going away and that there are lots of advantages (and risks) to using social media. WESFACCA (the Westchester and Southern Fairfield county chapter… Continue Reading

Employee’s Speech Against Employer May Be Protected by First Amendment

Posted in Litigation

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Garcetti v. Ceballos that an employee’s speech pursuant to the employee’s official job duties was not protected by the First Amendment, employers have attempted to use that case as a shield against free speech lawsuits by employees. But a decision by a federal court in Connecticut late… Continue Reading

Super Bowl Office Pools in Connecticut – What Box Are You In?

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

It doesn’t get much better than this for Connecticut residents. Giants vs. Patriots for the Super Bowl.  In a state where the loyalties are divided, a Super Bowl rematch from four years ago is nirvana.  And with such interest and enthusiasm, friendly wagering among friends will no doubt follow. But what happens when those people… Continue Reading

Will General Assembly Consider Repeal of Workplace Smokers’ Rights Law?

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

Let’s say you’re an employer in Connecticut.  And you want to keep your health insurance costs down and promote a “healthy workplace”.  After all, its a new year and a new year is built for resolutions like quitting smoking. No less than The New York Times did an article a few weeks ago about how… Continue Reading

A Guide to Breastfeeding in the Workplace

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

If you’ve been with this blog since it’s inception, you probably recall a few posts here, here, and here that I did early on about what employers needed to know about the breastfeeding in the workplace laws. Now, the CHRO in conjunction with the Connecticut Departments of Public Health and Labor, and the Connecticut Breastfeeding coalition,… Continue Reading

Followup from Presentation on Goofs & Gaffes in Workplace

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

Today, I had the opportunity to speak at a seminar on Goofs and Gaffes in Social Media at the Social Media Summit sponsored by the Hartford Business Journal.   In my section, I focused on the importance of developing a social media policy. I’ve talked about it before on the blog, but there are a few… Continue Reading

FAQ on Applying Performance Standards to Employees with Disabilities

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

At the core of every employment relationship is the expectation that the employee will perform the job satisfactorily. But what happens to those performance expectations when an employee has a disability? As the federal government has acknowledged, The Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits “employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities, generally do[es] not impinge… Continue Reading