Pullman attorney authors book on Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Attorney Mark J. Sommaruga, who is a member of Pullman & Comley’s Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Department and is chair of its School Law section, recently authored Understanding Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (5th Edition 2018).  This 146 page book is written primarily to provide guidance to public agencies and their members (and…

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They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2019 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 9, the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 5, 2019. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during the session, many of which will never see the light of day. The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will…

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YOU’VE GOT MAIL

At Pullman & Comley’s seminar regarding Developments in Labor & Employment Law last month, attendees at one of the breakout sessions were made aware of a study concerning a recent social and technological phenomenon, that should remind every employer of the importance of properly classifying its workforce as exempt, or non-exempt, under the Fair Labor…

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New Massachusetts Non-Compete Law and its Impact on Connecticut Employers

Connecticut companies with employees who work or live in Massachusetts must be aware of a recent Massachusetts law limiting the scope of noncompetition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018. What if a Connecticut Employer Specifies that Connecticut Law Applies? The law explicitly provides that a provision mandating the application of a different…

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Timing Issues in Employee Terminations

Deciding whether an employee should be terminated is a difficult decision, involving not only whether it is the right thing to do, but also whether it is the right time to do it. The appropriate personnel documentation to support a termination should be developed and shared with the employee well before the termination decision is…

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Employers Should be Wary of “Guidance”

Government agencies with enforcement powers often publish “guidance” in the form of bulletins or FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) to provide assistance in compliance. However, unlike statutes and regulations, the guidance publications are not binding and do not have the force of law.  Guidance may be helpful in general, but in a particular instance may be…

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Connecticut District Court Rules That Employer Cannot Rescind Job Offer Because Of Medical Marijuana Use

Since Connecticut passed the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (“PUMA”), employers have struggled with how to apply its anti-discrimination provisions in various workplace situations. This is especially confusing given that the use of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is still considered illegal under federal law.  This month, the U.S. District Court for Connecticut, in Noffsinger…

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Changes to New York State’s Sexual Harassment Laws: What Employers Need to Know

New York employers are subject to several new laws enacted this year aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace. In New York, sexual harassment includes harassment not only on the basis of sex, but also on the basis of sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being…

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THE OPIOID CRISIS IN CONNECTICUT: ARE EMPLOYERS RESPONDING EFFECTIVELY?

According to a recent New York Times article, many employers are struggling to respond to the current opioid epidemic. (The September 21, 2018 article, authored by Jenny Gold, is entitled “Workers Overdose on the Job, and Employers Struggle to Respond.”  Find it here.) The article indicates that a stunning 70 percent of employers reported that…

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PERSONNEL MATTERS, THE CONNECTICUT FOIA AND COMMON MISTAKES

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) generally provides access to both meetings and records of public agencies.  The FOIA does provide an exception to the open meetings requirements for certain “personnel matters,” namely, discussions “concerning the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee, provided that such individual may require…

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Commission On Human Rights Issues Guidance On Nondiscrimination Against Veterans

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has issued guidance on nondiscrimination in the hiring and employment of Connecticut veterans (the “Guidance”). Although discrimination against veterans already was prohibited pursuant to federal law, in October 2017, Connecticut law was amended to prohibit discrimination against any person honorably discharged, or released under honorable conditions,[1] in…

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Not Being Pregnant Can Support a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim

Discrimination in employment because of pregnancy is prohibited by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (and also by the federal laws against employment discrimination). A basic element of any discrimination claim is that the employee asserting the claim be a member of a protected class.  For pregnancy discrimination, the class would include employees terminated while…

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Third And Long– Former Villanova Wide Receiver Fights Uphill Battle To Establish Employee Status Under FLSA

As most are aware, lawsuits brought by college athletes alleging entitlement to wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) have been uniformly rebuked by reviewing courts that have immediately dismissed such suits for failure to state a claim. For example, in Dawson v. NCAA, the United States District Court for the Northern District of…

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