Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Against Use of Fluctuating Workweek Method in Calculating Overtime Pay for Retail Employees

On August 17, 2017, in Williams v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., the Connecticut Supreme Court invalidated the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay for retail employees who are paid in whole or in part by commission.  The effect of this ruling is particularly significant to multi-state retail establishments with Connecticut employees, as the ruling…

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Overtime Update

What happened to the Obama administration’s proposed new rule on employee eligibility for overtime pay?  Seven months into the Trump administration, do we know what to expect?  Recent events provide some clarity on these questions. A year ago, many employers were preparing to implement a new rule adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor, under…

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A Word To The Wise: Castleberry v. STI Group And The Expansion Of Liability For Hostile Work Environments

In David Lynch’s film Dune, a character proclaims that the protagonist “can kill with a word.”  Although not quite as dramatic, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held that an employer can violate federal civil rights statutes with a word.  Specifically, in Castleberry v. STI Group, the Third Circuit held…

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How Not to Fire: Lessons from President Trump for Employers.

Firing an employee does not usually make national headlines, but the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Donald Trump was a notable exception.  The headlines continued when President Trump appeared to offer varying explanations for why Comey was fired. At first, the Trump administration asserted that the termination was based upon the…

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Making Sure Your At-Will Employees Remain At-Will

Almost every state, including Connecticut, recognizes the doctrine of employment-at-will, meaning that in the absence of a contractual provision to the contrary, the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or for no reason. There are federal and state statutory exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine, such as…

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When Can An Employee Quit and Sue?

You might think that before filing a lawsuit for wrongful discharge, an employee would have to actually be discharged, but that is not necessarily so. Employment law includes a principle known as “constructive discharge,”  in which an employee can resign but claim that he was forced to quit by the improper actions of the employer,…

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Another Form of Workplace Harassment

Harassment is a form of workplace discrimination.   The most well-known is sexual harassment, which can consist of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, but also includes conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.  Sexual harassment is prohibited in discrimination…

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New York Employers, Beware of What You Ask Your Applicants and Employees: New York City’s Salary History Inquiry Ban

Because many of our clients are located in New York or have employees in New York, this blog post is the first of several posts on updates to New York, and New York City employment laws and regulations. More will follow in the coming weeks. On May 4, 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed into law…

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What Is a Regulated Drug Test?

In 1987, the Connecticut legislature passed Public Act 87-551, entitled An Act Concerning Drug Testing in the Workplace, which imposed restrictions on employer-required drug testing (now found at Sections 31-51t et seq of the General Statutes). In general, prospective employees may be required to submit to a drug test as part of the application procedure,…

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New Study Suggests Drug Use in Our Workforce is on the Rise ….How Can Employers Protect Themselves and Their Employees?

A recent study released by Quest Diagnostics reveals that drug use in the country’s workforce is on the rise. According to Quest’s analysis of more than ten million tests conducted in 2016, drug use among the combined US. workforce has increased to 4.2 percent, which is a five percent relative increase over 2015’s rate and…

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How Does the Withdrawal of the DOL’s 2015 and 2016 Informal Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors by Trump’s Secretary of Labor Impact Employers?

On June 7, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance documents on joint employment and independent contractors.  In the three sentence press release announcing the withdrawal, the DOL reminded employers that it plans to fully and fairly enforce all laws within…

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Tips For Documenting Employee Discipline

Most employment lawyers will tell you that more cases are won and lost due to documentation (or the lack thereof) than any other factor. This is because  juries typically will only believe employers if they “put it in writing.”  Conversely, when it comes down to the employer’s word against the employee’s word, an employer without…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2017 Regular Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting The Workplace

The 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded on June 7, 2017 without passing a budget. As such, the General Assembly will eventually have to convene a “special session”.  In the meantime, our legislature did pass several bills that will affect the workplace in Connecticut.  Among other things, the legislature enacted bills that…

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Takeaways For Employers From The Uber, Fox News and Trump Sexual Harassment Scandals

Last week, Uber announced the firing of at least 20 employees, resulting from an investigation of 215 harassment complaints at the company. Then, on June 13, its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, announced he would be taking a leave of absence.  Not long ago, Fox News fired its now-deceased CEO, Roger Ailes, after he and other…

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