With the holiday weekend now firmly behind us (and hopefully the wet weather and storms behind us too), it seems like a good time to recap some items you might have missed over the last few weeks in employment law. 

  • First, a gentle reminder that our free webinar on the Supreme Court’s decision on Ricci v. DeStefano and the implications for private employers is just 48 houcourtesy morgue filers away.  Details and registration are available here
  • There was a excellent pair of articles last week on writing effective performance reviews posted at the HR Daily Advisor here and here.  The key takeaway: Be specific both in what you expect as an employer and what needs to be done (with a timeframe). 
  • A recent Law.com article asks (and answers) the question for in-house counsel and human resources representatives: Can you access and read your employee’s web-based e-mail systems when the employee has accessed it through their workplace computer? The conclusion: It’s not worth the risk. 
  • The National Labor Relations Board has, for the last year or so, been issuing decisions from its two appointed members (out of 5).  Are these decisions "legal" because they are not a majority of the board? If the decisions are not legal, what happens? Do they get thrown out? That is the subject of many different appellate court decisions of late. The Second Circuit (the federal appeals court covering Connecticut) recently issued a decision that gave the thumbs up to the practice, furthering a split among the circuits. 
  • The Connecticut Supreme Court, in Garcia v. Hartford (download here) recently addressed the question of whether a retiree is an "employee" under a collective bargaining agreement. If so, the retiree would have to exhaust their remedies under the Agreement. The Supreme Court answered the question no, finding that the intent of the parties in this Agreement was that former employees had a different status than current employees. It’s yet another example how proper drafting of agreements can avoid years of litigation later on.  
  • And finally, the Connecticut Innovations blog has a post on how to build an engaging work environment. This is particularly important for start-up companies than may not have an established culture in place.