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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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)…

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Sex, Lies, and The FOIA: Wotjas v. Town of Stonington and The Disclosure of Sexual Harassment Complaints, Regardless of “Guilt.”

This author wrote previously on the status of sexual harassment investigations under the Freedom of Information Act [”FOIA”]. In a case that has grabbed some notoriety; the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has offered further guidance and reminders as to the public nature of sexual harassment complaints. In Wotjas v. Department of Administrative Services, Town…

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Required Consideration Lacking For Replacement Employment Contract

A September 23rd Connecticut Appellate Court decision tells a cautionary tale for employers drafting employment contracts intended to replace earlier contracts. Thoma v. Oxford Performance Materials, Inc., 2014 WL 4548490 (Conn. App.). In Thoma, the employee’s first contract gave her the right to a generous severance if the employer terminated her without cause. It also…

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A Question To Be Answered By The Supreme Court: Should You Discuss The Obvious At Job Interviews?

Sometime next year the United States Supreme Court will decide whether a job interviewer had an obligation to inform an applicant that the interviewer has noticed that the applicant is wearing a headscarf. Put another way, on the issue of an employer’s duty to accommodate an article of clothing worn as a religious practice, does…

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Reacting to Employee Off-The-Job Misconduct

A very concerned CEO calls his attorney. He has just learned that several months ago a key employee punched his fiancée, knocking her unconscious. There was a criminal charge that was dismissed, and the couple later married, but a bystander made a video of the incident which has made its way to the company. The…

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With the Latest Workplace Violence, Is It Time To Review Your Workplace Safety Policies?

The travesty of the latest workplace violence – a shooting on September 23, 2014 at UPS’s Birmingham Alabama facility and the beheading at a Vaughan Foods plant in Oklahoma – is a reminder that all employers must be vigilant to protect their employees, customers and vendors from potential workplace violence, whether from an employee or…

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Employee or Independent Contractor? A Change in the Ground Rules at FedEx Ground

I’ll bet you assume that the hard-working driver who delivers your packages and letters shipped by Federal Express is a FedEx employee. After all, he or she wears a FedEx uniform, drives a FedEx truck, uses a FedEx handheld computer, and operates on a FedEx schedule. So it may surprise you to learn that those…

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