You read the Sector Rules for reopening offices in Connecticut.

If you read page 5, you’d come across one of the guiding principles for reopening:

As we start opening select businesses…we will open at our strictest controls.  This will include…Those in high-risk groups (comorbidities) and over the age of 65 should continue to stay

So if last Tuesday’s post about the latest Connecticut Supreme Court decision on travel time was for employers, this post is for the ones who love the nuances of the law.

Dan Klau on his Appealingly Brief blog did a deep dive into the decision. And it wasn’t pretty.

Commuting at 1964 Worlds Fair

The issue Dan highlights is this: The Connecticut Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) interpretation of its own regulation on travel time was first rejected because that interpretation had not been time-tested and was not the product of formal rule-making procedures.

But it was also rejected because the Court said the agency’s interpretation was also not reasonable. Dan questions this:

The DOL based its interpretation of its regulation on a 1995 opinion letter of the United States Department of Labor concerning travel time under the federal Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947. The DOL expressly referenced that letter in a written guide it published, “A Guide to Wage and Workplace Standards.” (The link is to the 2014 revision, which appears to contain the same relevant text (see p. 38) at issue in Sarrazin.) The Court noted that Congress had rejected that position (on policy grounds) in 1996, “yet the department’s handbook inexplicably fails to acknowledge the questionable history of the 1995 opinion letter. . . .” This, according to the Court, is what made the DOL’s interpretation of its own regulation unreasonable.

I fail to see why the DOL’s statement that it interpreted its own regulation in accord with the 1995 opinion letter means that its interpretation is “unreasonable.” It seems to me that the question of reasonableness turns on the “fit” between the 1995 opinion letter and the text of the regulation, not on whether Congress, as a policy matter, disagreed with the 1995 opinion letter. Congress’s intentions are certainly relevant to federal law, but not to the reasonableness of the DOL’s interpretation of its own regulation. Employment lawyers, what say you?

There’s more, of course, to this story. It actually starts with a 1994 US Department of Labor Opinion letter which ruled that the time spent by an employee traveling from home to the first work assignment, or returning home from the last assignment, in an employer provided vehicle was similar to that of traveling between jobs during the day and therefore represented a principal activity, which must be compensated. No compensation would be required in cases where employees used their own personal vehicles.


Continue Reading CTDOL’s Interpretation of Travel Time Not “Reasonable”; What Happens Next?

In short order, Connecticut has just jumped to the front of the line when it comes to increasing the minimum wage.

On Wednesday, March 26th, the General Assembly passed an increase to the minimum wage in Connecticut. This will amend the previous increases that had been negotiated last year and raises the minimum wage past

iPod, iPad, iTunes, iWork….

I’ve been meaning to write a post about work songs since I started this blog.  (In fact, back in 2008, I noted that I would write about it in an upcoming post.  Three years later…)

But it never felt important enough. Too frivolous. Just a simple post about songs.

I was thinking about that again tonight when I heard of Steve Jobs death.  So sad. Such a loss to society.  He was serious but didn’t take himself too seriously.  And he also had some wonderful visions.

He once said that: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

And so, I come back to the post that I have really just wanted to write and have fun with.  What are the top “work” songs? Rather than wait another three years to do a blog post on this, now seems appropriate.  “The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t,” Jobs once said.


Continue Reading What Are My Favorite “Work” Songs On My iPod? Steve Jobs Knows.