Monthly Archives: May 2014

Once An Employee – Never A Volunteer

It should be obvious that employees cannot be required to perform services for their employers as “volunteers.” This is properly seen by the Department of Labor as a ruse to avoid paying wages or overtime. By contrast, volunteers such as those who donate their services to public service, religious or humanitarian organizations, are not considered…

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Unpaid Summer Internships Are A Bad Deal – For Employers

With summer fast approaching, it seems a good time to brush up on the topic of summer internships. Plenty of high school and college students – even recent college graduates – would be grateful for the opportunity to learn some skills, enhance their resumes, and perhaps make some useful connections; plenty of employers could use…

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Wage Hour Claims and Casuto v. Town of Greenwich: The Department of Labor Investigation Is Not The End of The Story

Employers who have been through an investigation by the Connecticut Department of Labor Wage & Workplace Standards Division unfortunately have intimate knowledge of the potential burdens of defending against employee wage claims.  To make things even less joyous for employers facing such claims, the Connecticut Superior Court’s recent decision in Casuto v. Town of Greenwich,…

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Do You Comply With The New Personnel Files Statutes?

Last year the Connecticut legislature amended the state personnel files statutes to add specific compliance requirements in three areas. The prior statutes defined personnel and medical files, allowed employees to request inspection of their files, allowed employees to offer corrections, made personnel files confidential, and allowed employees to obtain copies. The amendments in Public Act…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2014 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting The Workplace

The 2014 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded.  The following is a cursory description of bills that were passed by the General Assembly that may be of interest.  A more detailed summary of these enactments will be forthcoming. S.B. No. 32/PUBLIC ACT No. 14-1: AN ACT CONCERNING WORKING FAMILIES’ WAGES.  This Act…

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Amendments to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Important amendments to the Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Act were included in this year’s legislation passed by the Legislature and expected to be signed by Governor Malloy. It is now illegal for an employer to “terminate” or “dismiss” (the law does not explain the difference) any employee or “transfer any employee from one work site…

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Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?” The majority of the time, the answer is “No.” That said, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does…

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Paying Employees For Travel Time

Both the state and federal wage and hour laws have provisions addressing the question of when time spent traveling by a non-exempt employee is compensable. A new decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court in the case of Sarrazin v. Coastal, Inc., decided on April 29, 2014, addresses various travel time issues. There are generally three…

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