One of my most popular segments on this blog has been the ongoing “dialogue” with Nina Pirrotti, an employee-side employment law attorney that we do from time to time. Nina is a partner at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. based on New Haven and is a member of the Executive Board of the
The Path Forward After the NLRB’s Severance Agreement Decision
Last week, the NLRB issued a landmark decision in McLaren Macomb that is already shaking up how private employers (both unionized and non-unionized) should consider severance agreements.
My colleagues have the full recap of the decision over at our sister blog, Employment Law Letter, from Friday and I highly recommend reading that first.
Quick Hits: Independent Schools FAQ, EEOC and OSHA Updates, CHRO Best Practices for Investigations
Within the last few days, the pace of new guidance from both the state and federal governments has slowed down just a bit.
Now, we seem to be preparing for the next ‘phase’ of this pandemic.
Whatever that looks like.
The state courts have been at a virtual standstill but we are starting to hear…
Why Employment Settlement Agreements Contain Confidentiality Clauses
This blog has tried to stay apolitical throughout its 12+ years so I’m not going to start talking politics now.
But, over the last week, the issue of confidentiality provisions and non disparagement clauses in settlement agreements of discrimination claims has moved front and center of the political debate between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Michael…
Busy Legislative Session Has Lots of Employment Law Bills On Tap (Part 1)
The Connecticut General Assembly is already busy with a full compliment of employment law bills under consideration. At this point, it seems likely that several will pass in one form or another and thus employers should be playing close attention to the developments.
Here are a few of the Senate ones that I’m watching (…
What Provisions are Typical in a Separation Agreement?
There’s been a lot in the news of late about “outrageous” provisions found in an separation agreement between an employer and an employee, like confidentiality. Indeed, some proposed legislation would restrict the use of some provisions.
So I thought it would be helpful to go over what we typically see in a separation agreement.
A Rare Look Into An Employee’s Duty of Loyalty to the Employer
After nine-plus years of writing about employment law in Connecticut, it’s getting to be pretty rare to find a topic that I haven’t at least touched upon, but here’s one: The Duty of Loyalty.
Indeed, a new Connecticut Supreme Court case is giving me the opportunity to do so.
The case arises from an employee…
Protecting Confidential Information from Untrustworthy Employees
My colleague Gary Starr returns today with a story worth reading about the need for employers to secure confidential information. Although it is based on Massachusetts, the concepts it covers may have some carryover to employers elsewhere as well.
Employers that maintain records of their employees and customers and allow employees have access to…
Can You Keep a Secret in Human Resources?
Earlier this month, The New York Times ran another column in its Workalogist series that asked the following question:
Are conversations with a human resources department confidential? I’m contemplating retirement in about three years and would like to gather benefit information from human resources now — but I do not want my supervisor to know.
“Pay Secrecy” Bill Goes Above and Beyond Other Proposals
As I said before, the notion that this might be a quiet year for employment law legislation at the Connecticut General Assembly has long since left the train station.
Indeed, we’ve appear to be swinging completely in the opposite direction. Anything and everything appears up discussion and possible passage this year — including items that really stood no chance in prior years.
I’ll leave it for the political pundits to analyze the why and the politics of it all. But for employers, some of these proposals are going to be very challenging, at best, if passed.
One such bill, which appeared this week on the “GO” list (meaning its ready for considering by both houses) is House Bill 6850, titled “An Act on Pay Equity and Fairness”. Of course, you won’t find those words in the bill itself which is odd. There is nothing about pay equity in the bill; indeed, it is much much broader than that.
It stands in contrast to, say, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which tried to tackle gender discrimination in pay directly.
This bill would make it illegal for employers to do three things. If passed, no employer (no matter how big or small) could:
- Prohibit an employee from disclosing, inquiring about or discussing the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee;
- Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee his or her right to disclose, inquire 1about or discuss the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee; or
- Discharge, discipline, discriminate against, retaliate against or otherwise penalize any employee who discloses, inquires about or discusses the amount of his or her wages or the wages of another employee.
You might be wondering: Isn’t this first bill duplicative of federal law? And the answer is yes, and then it goes beyond it. Federal labor law (the National Labor Relations Act) already protects two or more employees discussing improving their pay as a “protected concerted activity”. It’s been on the books for nearly 80 years. So, as noted in an NPR article:
Under a nearly 80-year-old federal labor law, employees already can talk about their salaries at work, and employers are generally prohibited from imposing “pay secrecy” policies, whether or not they do business with the federal government.
This provision goes beyond that by making it improper for an employer to prohibit an employee from even disclosing another employee’s pay.…
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