Common Sense Prevails: Arbitration Award OK’ing On-Duty Drug Usage Overturned

In the world of labor arbitration, common sense sometimes takes a holiday.  Fortunately, a Superior Court judge recently overturned an arbitrator’s attempt at second guessing an employer’s response to serious misconduct involving on the job drug use. In State of Connecticut v. Connecticut Employees Union Independent, 2014 WL 5572251, a skilled maintainer at the UConn…

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The Perennial Problem of References

Most employers would be very happy to receive a frank appraisal from a prospective employee’s former employer.  Yet most employers are themselves reluctant to give references concerning former employees, or any information beyond confirming job title and dates of employment, and possibly wage rates.  There is a perceived risk in actually giving a candid evaluation…

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Latest Developments From The Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Speaks

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee  voted favorably on a plethora of bills and advanced them out of committee. Among the most noteworthy were: 1) a bill that would require certain “large” employers to pay a quarterly fee to the Department of Labor for each employee that receives…

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Potential New Salary Minimum for Exempt Employees

The test for classifying employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements may be briefly summarized as follows:  the employee must be paid on a salary basis (i.e., receive the same base salary amount every workweek regardless of the number of hours worked), and the employee must perform duties which satisfy the…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: March 3 and 6 Public Hearings

As promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly. A. On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills. 1. S.B. No. 953 AN ACT CONCERNING LABOR PEACE. (LAB) 2. S.B. No. 984 (RAISED)…

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Military Leave of Absence and the Obligations of Connecticut Municipal Employers

When an employee gives notice of the need to take a leave of absence for military service, there are some questions that municipal employers will reflexively ask: Do we have to permit the leave?  Must the employee be paid his/her usual salary while on leave? Is there any way to limit the duration of the…

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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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2015 Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Seminar

Pullman & Comley is pleased to continue its annual seminar on labor and employment law with a program that offers Connecticut businesses practical, real world tactics to address the many labor and employment and employee benefits issues they face today. Topics that will be covered include: Responding to a Retaliation, Discrimination or Harassment Claim The…

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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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