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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Update on the Employment Application Process and Background Checks

Now that Massachusetts has barred its employers from asking job applicants about salary information (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4509 ), and Connecticut has joined the “Ban the Box” trend (prohibiting employers from asking applicants about arrests and convictions in an initial job application), and since many businesses still do not understand either the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act’s requirements…

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Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone else with relevant knowledge. A recent decision from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, whose decisions govern the Connecticut federal…

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Differences in Public Policy Can Affect Claims of Wrongful Discharge

Most jurisdictions, including Connecticut, recognize a tort of “wrongful discharge” as an exception to the principle of employment at will. Although employment at will generally allows either the employer or the employee to terminate the employment relationship at any time, employers may not use employment at will to justify the termination of an employee for…

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Wake Up! The New Overtime Rule Takes Effect Soon!

It’s September 6, the day after Labor Day, symbolically the end of summer, traditionally the first day of school, and psychologically the beginning of the homestretch on the year. It’s also 85 days until December 1, which is the effective date of the new federal rule on who qualifies for the white-collar overtime exemptions. If…

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Supreme Court Reaffirms Workers Compensation Exclusivity

Workers compensation has been described as a bargain in which an employee who has suffered a workplace injury relinquishes potentially large common-law tort damages in exchange for relatively quick and certain compensation provided by workers compensation insurance. This principle is known as the exclusivity rule.   In the recent case of Velecela v. All Habitat Services,…

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