Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

I had the great fortune of running into an avid blog reader last night. It’s always fun hearing about how a post I did a few years ago is something that resonated with a reader and spurred his or her company to action.

Behold the Great & Powerful Wizard!

One of the aspects of the blog that she enjoyed was the nuggets of information that aren’t readily accessible in other places.

I hated to break it to the reader, but many of these nuggets are merely open secrets. You just have to know where to look.

So, like the Wizard of Oz pulling back the curtain, here are a few web resources I rely on that are off the beaten track and that may be helpful to employers, particularly in Connecticut.

  • To keep up with legislative developments: The General Assembly’s Labor & Public Employee Committee actually has its own webpage.  That alone is a helpful tip, but what you want to also look at is the Bill Record Book that the committee starts each session (a new one will begin in January 2012).  In it, it tracks proposed bills, raised bills and bills referred from other committees. It’s a helpful resource to see what the committee is doing and knowing when hearings are scheduled for each of them.  Even better, you can sign up for alerts from the legislature on keyword searches.
  • For research reports on employment-related topics: The Office of Legislative Research is another hidden gem as part of state government. They produce very helpful and useful reports on a variety of legislative-related subjects.  OLR even has a blog that provides some more context.  This week, the OLR did a post about mandated reporters; in light of the Penn State scandal, it is both timely and informative.
  • For employment law news: A service called the Employment Law Information Network also provides various press releases, newsletters, blog posts and the like on RSS feeds and on its webpage. While some of it is, frankly, nothing more than promotional items from law firms, there are often several interesting articles on topics of interest buried in there.
  • For even more employment law news: Another site, called JDSupra, also takes various labor & employment articles and puts them all at your fingertips.  You can even connect to it from LinkedIn adding to its utility.  As an added bonus, all of this blog’s posts are now getting cross-posted over at JD Supra.    (Full disclosure: one of my law partners here is involved with that service.)
  • For a quick guide to wage & hour laws in Connecticut: Many of the key wage & hour laws in Connecticut are summarized in an online book published by the Connecticut Department of Labor. You can download it here.  If you have a question, it provides a great starting point for some answers. But this comes with a caveat: There are still many unanswered questions in there and it shouldn’t be exclusively relied upon by employers when it comes to making important determinations in this area.
  • For suggestions on accommodating employees with disabilities: The Job Accommodation Network isn’t the newest kid on the block. But for employers, it does have a wealth of resources and suggestions on how to deal with an employee who has a disability.
  • For older EEOC resources including “best practices”: The EEOC updated their website a few years ago but in doing so, it kept its prior website up and running, which is a boon to employers. One of the resources it had in the prior version was a “Best Practices of Private Sector Employees” report.  While the law has changed a bit since this was first produced, most of the content is still useful today.

So there you have it.  Now click your heels together three times and repeat: “There’s no place like the Connecticut Employment Law Blog….”