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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules That A Lying Police Officer Must be Reinstated Because His Lies Were Not “So Egregious.”

Should a police officer who was terminated for lying to the Town of Stratford’s independent physician about his alcohol abuse and epilepsy be permitted to return pursuant to an arbitration panel’s  determination that a nine-month suspension without pay is sufficient punishment for such conduct?  Yes, according to the Connecticut Supreme Court. In Town of Stratford…

Read more

Evolution of a Statutory Benefit: Use of Paid Sick Leave by Employees Who Aren’t Sick Themselves

The Connecticut employment laws mandate several workplace protections for employees which in an earlier era would have been found only in collective bargaining agreements or the employer’s own policies.   Just a few examples are restrictions on workplace surveillance (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-48b), limitations on employee drug testing (Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-51t et seq.), employee…

Read more

Employee Retention Strategies

Pullman & Comley’s Labor & Employment practice group recently offered a seminar for clients and friends.   Our guest speaker was Peter Gioia, Vice President and Economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, who offered an upbeat assessment of the prospects for Connecticut’s economy in 2015, with, as ever, the caveat that the state must…

Read more

Perceived Disability Now Recognized Under Connecticut Law

On Monday December 8, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Mireille Derosiers v. Diageo North America, Inc. et al. holding that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (the state counterpart to federal employment discrimination statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals whom…

Read more

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait – At No Extra Charge

Last month, this blog discussed a case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether employees who were required to pass through a security clearance at the beginning and end of their shifts could claim that the time spent waiting in line for clearance should be considered paid time under the Fair…

Read more

Is the CHRO Expanding its Reach into Schools and Police Actions?

I recently attended a meeting where Charles Krich, the Principal Attorney for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”), spoke about the future of the agency.  Attorney Krich stated that the agency is seeking to become a more active “civil rights agency” and is expanding its reach beyond the landlord-tenant and employer-employee relationships…

Read more

The Importance of Timing in Employment Terminations

There is a saying that “timing is everything,” and in some instances of employment termination, the timing, if not everything, may still be an  important consideration. Many of the laws which provide benefits to employees contain provisions which protect the employees from retaliation for use of those benefits.  Examples of such protections are included in…

Read more

How Will The Administration’s Recent Executive Orders Affect Employment-Based Immigration?

President Obama’s remarks last week announcing his executive orders on immigration reform, and the press coverage that has followed the announcement, have largely focused on changes involving undocumented immigrants and family unity.  While the White House has also announced changes to the employment-based immigration system, those changes have been less discussed, and are as yet…

Read more

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait – and Get Paid for It

When the poet John Milton observed that “they also serve who only stand and wait,” it was unlikely that he was thinking about employees who are required to pass through security clearance when leaving the workplace at the end of their shift. However, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has thought about such employees,…

Read more

2014 Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Seminar

Pullman & Comley is pleased to announce that it is once again holding its annual, comprehensive labor and employment and employee benefits seminar on December 11 at The Hartford Club.  Connecticut Business and Industry Association Chief Economist Pete Gioia will be the keynote speaker for the event at 8:35 a.m.  Topics this year will include…

Read more

Many Employee Retirement Plan Dollar Limits Adjusted For 2015

The Internal Revenue Code provides for various dollar limitations on benefits, contributions, and compensation for tax-qualified employee benefit plans.  Recently, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for 2014, including those applicable to 401(k) and other tax-qualified retirement plan limits.  Several dollar limits such as the salary deferral contribution limit to 401(k)…

Read more