You know it’s summer when the most exciting headline in employment law over the last day seems to be the markup of an arbitration fairness bill by a House Judiciary Subcommittee. Not terribly exciting. If you’d like more details on that bill, Workplace Horizons has a nice little summary and does it’s typical terrific job on keeping up to date on some federal legislative items. But it is still a long way off.
In the meantime, this little lull provides an opportunity to catch up on a series of posts I’ve done on little known employment laws. For some of the previous installments, check out here and here.
Today’s post addresses offer letters. For many employers, they are standard practice, but others seem to ignore them.
Connecticut actually requires something resembling an offer letter to each employee. Specifically, Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-71f requires that every employer, at the time of hiring, advise an employee of three things:
- The rate of remuneration (in other words, the salary or rate of pay);
- The hours the employee is expected to work;
- And the schedule for wage payments (weekly or otherwise).
Notably, that statute also requires that employers "make available" to employees (either in writing or through a posted notice in a lunch room or other accessible location) any policies or practices relating to:
- vacation pay;
- sick leave;
- health and welfare benefits;
- and comparable matters.
If the employer makes any changes to these policies and practices, the statute requires that the employer provide notice to employees as well.
Thus, offer letters (or something resembling them) are a good business practice, but also the law. Use them as an opportunity to also include language that confirms that the employee is "at-will" meaning that the employer can fire the employee at any time for any reason (and the employee can leave anytime for any reason too).