Active Users of Illegal Drugs May Qualify for Disability Discrimination Protection Under Connecticut Law

The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA”) protects employees from discrimination on the basis of a present or past history of mental disability. Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-60(a)(1).  “Mental disability”  is defined in the statute with  precision as referring to a person who has a record of or is regarded as having a mental disorder described…

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US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES NEW RULE ON OVERTIME EXEMPTIONS

The U.S. Department of Labor announced its final rule setting a new salary threshold for the “white collar” (executive, administrative, and professional) overtime exemptions. As of January 1, 2020, employees in these categories will have to earn at least $35,468 annually ($684 per week) to be exempt from overtime requirements.  No changes were made to…

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Can There be a “Meeting” Under the FOIA in the Absence of a Quorum? The Appellate Court Just Spoke (but stay tuned).

[Although this article is not about an employment law issue, we are including it in this blog because it will be particularly relevant to our readers who are affiliated with public employers, or who serve on public boards and commissions.  It is also relevant to all of us as citizens of Connecticut.  Moreover, the author,…

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Schools Must Take Care to Follow Established Complaint Procedures When Investigating Student Complaints of Sexual Harassment Against Employees In Order to Avoid Potential Liability for Sex Discrimination

In two cases this month, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has opined that a college may be found liable for sex discrimination when it acts on allegedly false accusations of sexual impropriety made by students against a faculty member. These cases stress the importance of following internal complaint procedures and completing…

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Has New York State Enacted a Workplace Civility Code?

The federal law known as Title VII, along with similar state laws, prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex can include harassment of an employee (either female or male employee, although the evidence is that sexual harassment of men is less common) by subjecting her or him…

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COVENANTS NOT TO COMPETE ARE PROHIBITED IN CONNECTICUT FOR HOME HEALTH BUSINESSES

Just as the Connecticut legislature was about to vote on the budget this spring, a small provision was dropped into the budget bill. The provision, Section 305 of Public Act 19-117, states that “any covenant not to compete is against public policy and shall be void and unenforceable.” For purposes of this provision, “covenant not…

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EMPLOYERS: DON’T OVERLOOK YOUR TITLE VII DEFENSES!

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court simultaneously resolved a long-running dispute about procedure under Title VII and sent a message to employers that it is important to pay attention and act promptly when faced with a Title VII lawsuit by a current or former employee. Title VII is the fundamental federal law prohibiting discrimination in…

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Reminder: There Must Be a Timely Response to Workers’ Compensation Claims

The workers’ compensation process is usually routine. An employee injured at the workplace receives treatment, which could range from first aid to transport to an emergency room, the employer completes a first report of injury and informs its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and the insurance company deals with any claim filed by the employee.  But…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2019 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Employers (Part Two)

In these pages, we recently wrote about the passage of several bills of great import from the recently concluded 2019 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly addressing (paid) family and medical leave, sexual harassment, and remedies for employment discrimination claims, along with increasing the state’s minimum wage. The following are concise descriptions of the…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2019 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Employers (Part One)

The 2019 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded on June 5, 2019. In light of the passage of several bills of great import (e.g., paid family and medical leave – along with other changes to the state’s FMLA, measures addressing sexual harassment while also expanding remedies for employment discrimination claims, increases in the…

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Connecticut’s Newly Signed Law Imposes New Sexual Harassment Training Obligations

On June 18, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law a new bill imposing significant changes to sexual harassment training requirements for employers. The bill, entitled “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment,” and dubbed the “Time’s Up Act,” is Connecticut’s response to the #MeToo movement, and overhauls, among other things, Connecticut’s mandate for…

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New Legislation Grants Additional Powers to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Until about 25 years ago, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities claimed the power to award both general damages for emotional distress and reasonable attorneys’ fees to complainants who prevailed in a CHRO public hearing.  Then in a landmark decision in 1995, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the CHRO had misapplied the…

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Pay for Work Performed by Non-Exempt Employees: Does “Hours Worked” Include a Few Extra Minutes?

It appears that the new regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor to increase the salary threshold for exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime requirements will become effective in the foreseeable future. Currently, any employee earning a salary of more than $455 per week is eligible for classification as exempt, as long…

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Proposed Change to Sexual Harassment Law Would Impose Strict Liability on Employers

House Bill 7044, recently reported favorably out of the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee, has not yet become law. [see our blog article from March 19, 2019: Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Begins to Speak] In fact, earlier versions of the bill introduced in past…

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WHAT TAX-EXEMPT ENTITIES WITH NO MILLION DOLLAR PLUS EMPLOYEES SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SECTION 4960 EXCISE TAXES

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 added several new provisions to the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) which impose new excise taxes on tax-exempt entities. One of these new provisions is Code Section 4960, Tax on Excess Tax-Exempt Executive Compensation. Code Section 4960 imposes excise taxes on certain compensatory payments to certain employees…

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