GA2It’s been a long-time coming but the General Assembly finally approved of a measure that would allow employers to pay employees on a bi-weekly basis without receiving prior CTDOL approval.

The provision, part of a set of “technical” revisions to various Department of Labor matters, is long overdue.

Several employers had moved to a bi-weekly payroll scheme without realizing that they needed approval from the CTDOL beforehand.  That approval won’t be required anymore (assuming this bill is approved by the governor).

I’ve previously discussed the requirement so now employers who have been wary about seeking such approval, can just move ahead on their own.

Senate Bill 220 also makes lots of technical changes to the unemployment compensation scheme and even to drug testing (getting rid of the suggesting that the DOL develop some regulations in this area).  These probably won’t be of interest to most employers, but it’s worth a look through the bill summary to see if something else touches on your industry.

The measure will become effective when the Governor signs the overall bill.  (Other provisions in the bill go into effect October 1, 2016.)

In my continuing series of posts this summer on recurring issues in employment law, this week I’ll address the payment of wages and the question: Can I pay my employees on a bi-weekly basis?

The answer to that question is “no” — at least not without a waiver from the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Connecticut law requires that all employees be paid on a weekly basis.  But the law also allows the CTDOL to grant waivers upon requests by employers.

Bi-weekly payment of wages waivers are fairly routine and routinely granted. They are so routine that the DOL has created an online form. Typically (though not always), the DOL does not look to see whether the employer was actually engaged in this practice beforehand and is satisfied with the employer’s newfound compliance.

For semi-monthly and monthly payment of wages, the DOL has granted waivers on a much more limited basis.  The employer in those cases must typically show some extraordinary need.  Otherwise, the request will be denied, more often than not.

If you haven’t been complying with this law, seek legal counsel to discuss the legal issues in play and understand the consequences of non-compliance.

There are a lot of sleepy Connecticut basketball fans this morning, with the game against Syracuse last night (and this morning) going into SIX overtimes.  Those of us staying up until nearly 1:30 a.m. to watch the second-longest game in NCAA basketball history will remember that game for a long time. 

With overtime on my mind, it’s a good time to address two simple issues that sometimes arise in Connecticut:

  • What’s the difference between daily overtime and weekly overtime?
  • And does Connecticut have a "daily" overtime rule?

"Daily" overtime is a concept that a non-exempt employee who works more than 8 hours in a day (or perhaps on a weekend day or holiday) is due an overtime rate of time-and-a-half of regular hour rate.  Some states have imposed this rule."Weekly" overtime is the more commonly understood concept that an non-exempt employee is only due an overtime rate of pay after working more than 40 hours during a week.

Connecticut’s Department of Labor quite succinctly states that Connecticut does not have an "daily" overtime rule, absent some contractual arrangement.  Instead, Connecticut follows a weekly overtime rule, that can be found at Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-76b. 

Thus, if there were non-exempt employees in Connecticut who had to work late last night because of the basketball game, they are only going to be eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours during this week (or there was some other type of contract, like a collective bargaining agreement, that mandated it).

And if you see some people napping around the office today, have some sympathy for them too. Staying up late didn’t help UConn’s cause; they lost 127-117.