The Department of Labor Opines That The Fair Labor Standards Act Sets The Floor With Respect To Wage Standards For Disabled Workers

On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance on the payment of subminimum (or special minimum) wages to workers with disabilities.  As many are aware, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) authorizes the DOL to issue certificates permitting employers to pay subminimum wages to workers who…

Read more

They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during the session, most of which will never see the light of day. The Labor and Public Employees Committee will be where…

Read more

“CURES ACT” Authorizes Small Employers to Reimburse Employees for Health Insurance Costs

One major area of confusion and annoyance created by the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) has finally been put to rest with the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13, 2016 (the “Cures Act”).  Many small employers were chagrined by the IRS pronouncement in 2013 (IRS Notice 2013-54) that the ACA prohibited…

Read more

Can a Single Employee Go On Strike Against a Non-Union Company?

The short answer is “yes.”  The National Labor Relations Act extends the same protections to employees of non-unionized employers as it does to union members.  One of those protections is the right to engage in a strike, which is simply a work stoppage in support of a concerted activity, such as a demand for changes…

Read more

The NLRB’s Challenge To Bridgewater’s Confidentiality Clauses: Its Significance For Employers

The NLRB’s new focus on non-union employment has been well–chronicled here.  Employment contract provisions thought to be governed only by state contract law principles are now subject to the federal National Labor Relations Act and its unfair labor practice prohibition.  Recent NLRB activity concerning confidentiality provisions in hedge fund Bridgewater Associates’ standard employment contract underscores…

Read more

News Update: Texas Judge Enjoins Enforcement of U.S. DOL’s Overtime Rule Set to Take Effect on Dec. 1

Judge Amos Mazzant, the President Obama-appointed federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, issued a decision on November 22, 2016, granting an emergency injunction against the United States Labor Department’s overtime rule.  The rule, previously set to take effect Dec. 1, doubles (to $47,476) the salary threshold for…

Read more

Importance of Establishing An Employee’s Regular Rate of Pay

Overtime pay is calculated at a rate of one and one-half times a non-exempt employee’s regular rate, a well-known formula which obviously depends on establishing the employee’s regular rate of pay. This should ordinarily be simple, since the pay of  a non-exempt employee is usually stated in terms of an hourly rate of pay, and…

Read more

Firing Employees For Private Facebook Posts: Employers Should Proceed With Caution

The recent filing of a lawsuit by a former television anchor against her former employer has magnified the need for employers to have a sound and meaningful social media policy. Former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania news anchor, Wendy Bell, was fired after she made a post on her personal Facebook page about the murder of six people…

Read more

Recordkeeping and the New Federal Overtime Rules

Under the new federal overtime rules effective December 1 (the “Final Rule”), a salaried worker must earn at least $913 per week ($47,476 for a full-year worker) in order to be exempt from overtime pay, up from the current minimum of $455 per week ($23,660 for a full-year worker).  Employees who become newly eligible for…

Read more

Should You Allow Your Employees Time Off to Vote? Three Considerations for Connecticut Employers

Election Day is now less than two weeks away. While many states require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote, Connecticut is not one of them. Employers in the state should, however, keep the following considerations in mind: If you provide your employees with paid vacation, personal days or other paid time…

Read more

Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Employment Visas?

While many observers of the 2016 United States presidential campaign have called immigration policy one of the central issues in the election, the implications of that heightened attention to the issue are not equally clear for all stakeholders in the system. Unlike the high-profile deportation, “amnesty,” and border security discussions that capture much of the…

Read more

An Example of the Interplay Between State and Federal FMLA

Any Connecticut employer with more than 75 employees is subject to both the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts. The key provisions of the two laws are nearly identical, with one significant exception:  the Connecticut FMLA leave entitlement is 16 weeks within a 24-month period, whereas the federal FMLA entitlement is 12 weeks within…

Read more