H-1B Crunch Time Is Upon Us; Act Now Or Be On The Sidelines Until 2016

With the United States job market continuing to recover slowly but steadily, and immigration reform legislation becoming an increasingly more distant possibility in the 114th Congress, it is extremely likely that H-1B visas for the upcoming fiscal year will be oversubscribed, and that there will be a lottery for the visas among those who apply…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 24 and 26 Public Hearings

As we promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly. A. On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct an “off site” public hearing on: a) 26 different proposed bills that would modify the “prevailing wage” statute that applies to municipal construction…

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Federal FMLA Regulations Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced changes to the regulations that define a “spouse” for purposes of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.  The changes fully implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.  That statute had defined the terms “marriage” and…

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Medical Insurance Premium Reimbursement — A Brief Reprieve for Small Employers

Some employers – particularly smaller ones – have assisted their employees to obtain health insurance by reimbursing them for the cost of insurance they purchase in the individual market.  Does this practice satisfy the requirement of the Affordable Care Act?  On February 18, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2015-17 (“the Notice”), which reiterates…

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Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The Connecticut Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act also imposes a reasonable accommodation requirement on employers, even though not explicitly stated…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 17th Public Hearing

On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills: 1. Proposed S.B. No. 81 AN ACT CONCERNING JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES. 2. Proposed S.B. No. 108 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ABILITY OF ARBITRATION PANELS TO COMPROMISE WHEN RULING ON MUNICIPAL CONTRACT DISPUTES.…

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Developments in Pregnancy Discrimination Law: UPS, EEOC, and I

Readers of this blog have seen several posts on the topic of pregnancy discrimination. In the last couple of weeks, the following additional developments concerning the topic have occurred: 1.  You previously read about the issue of “forced leave,” which arises when a pregnant employee is unable to carry out essential job functions due to a pregnancy-related…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 5, 2015 Committee Meeting

As we promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly.  The following is an update as to where we stand on labor and employment related legislation. At its February 5, 2015 meeting, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted to raise the following “concepts” as bills for…

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Avoid Being the Test Case for Gender Identity Discrimination

A former sales associate at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Houston, Texas store recently filed suit in federal court claiming discrimination based on her gender identity.  Leyth Jamal is a transgender individual who identifies as a woman.  She claims that during her employment with Sak’s, managers persistently harassed her about her gender identity.  Specifically, Jamal claims that…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: January 29 Public Hearing

As we promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly.  The following is an update as to where we stand on labor and employment related legislation. Previously, at its  January 15, 2015 meeting, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted to raise the following “concepts” as…

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Department of Justice To Assert Title VII Protects Transgender Status

In a memorandum dated December 15, 2014,  the United States Attorney General has changed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position with respect to the protection of transgender status under Title VII. While the DOJ had previously maintained that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination did not encompass gender identity per se, the DOJ will now…

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What Can Employers Expect from this Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 7, 2015, the 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began.  The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 3, 2015.   A plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during the session, most of which will never see the light of day.  For example, one does not have…

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Interns’ Class Action Carries Multimillion Dollar Price Tag

Late last spring I posted on this blog about the pitfalls for employers of unpaid internships, often offered to young people during the summer months, or to students or recent college graduates as “pre-entry-level” positions.  (See that post here.)  With winter closing in (snow is falling as I type), a recent report of a significant…

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