Author: Margaret Bartiromo

New Guidance from State and Federal Courts for Employers Who Require Arbitration of Employment Disputes

There is an on-going debate in the field of employment discrimination law as to whether an employer can require an employee to take a discrimination claim to arbitration rather than filing a lawsuit. A recent decision of the Connecticut Superior Court at Hartford in the case of Grose v. Didi, LLC gives some guidance on…

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What to Include– and What Not to Include– in an Offer Letter

An offer letter is a formal offer of employment to a job applicant. Employers also use offer letters to summarize the basic terms of employment after an applicant has accepted an oral job offer. What to Include in an Offer Letter—the Basics Written offer letters are not required in Connecticut, but employers in the state…

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New US DOL Pilot Program Aims to Resolve FLSA Disputes More Quickly

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a new nationwide pilot program to facilitate resolution of potential overtime and minimum wage violations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When launched, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program will allow employers to conduct self-audits of their compensation practices for potential non-compliance and resolve…

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March is Women’s History Month: A Look at 3 Laws Protecting the Rights of Women in the Workplace

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly half of U.S. workers are women. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of employment, was enacted over 50 years ago, but women still face challenges in the workplace. As March is Women’s History Month, now is a…

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Connecticut Employers Have New Notification Requirement Beginning January 29

The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CT FEPA) was amended during the past legislative session to enhance the protections available to pregnant women in the workplace. Among the new provisions of the law (which applies to employers of three or more employees as well as the state and political subdivisions) is the requirement that the…

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Unpaid Disciplinary Suspensions Require a Careful Reading of Federal and State Law

Counseling and written warnings are common steps employers take to address employee attendance issues (such as habitual tardiness) or performance issues (such as failing to complete assigned work on time). But what if the employer is faced with an employee who engages in serious workplace misconduct, such as sexual harassment or violence? As recent news…

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Making Sure Your At-Will Employees Remain At-Will

Almost every state, including Connecticut, recognizes the doctrine of employment-at-will, meaning that in the absence of a contractual provision to the contrary, the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or for no reason. There are federal and state statutory exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine, such as…

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The Law Governing Unpaid Interns, Part II: Rights Under Federal and State Nondiscrimination Laws

This is the second of two blogs covering the law governing unpaid interns and volunteers. Our first blog reviewed the basic criteria for determining whether a worker can properly be considered an unpaid intern or volunteer. This blog focuses on the rights of these uncompensated workers under federal and state nondiscrimination laws. Federal Law For…

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It’s Almost Summer! Time to Review the Law Governing Interns, Part I

It’s that time of year again when employers who take on interns and volunteers for the summer are reminded that they must comply with federal and state wage and hour laws (see our own blogs on this subject here and here). There have been a few new developments in the law governing unpaid workers over…

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Second Circuit Identifies Outer Limits of NLRA-Protected Speech

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) generally prohibits employers from retaliating against employees based on their union-related activities or for taking concerted action to improve the terms and conditions of their employment, even in the absence of a union. But an employee can lose the protection of the NLRA if he or she acts in…

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NLRB Affirms Stance on Employee Use of Company Email During Non-Work Time

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently affirmed its 2014 decision in Purple Communications, Inc. and Communications Workers of America, AFL–CIO which held that if employees are granted access to their employer’s email system for work-related purposes, they are presumed to have a right to use that email system on non-working time for communications that…

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EEOC: Harassment Continues to be a Serious Problem in the Workplace

Unlawful harassment is alive and well in the workplace. According to a report issued last year by a Select Task Force of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace (the “Task Force Report”), almost one third of all charges received by the EEOC in 2015 included an allegation…

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Can FMLA Leave Ever Be Used for the Flu?

The flu season has begun. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s weekly updates, influenza activity is rapidly increasing in Connecticut and throughout the region. Since the flu is contagious, employees should be encouraged to stay home if they come down with the virus, but did you know that leave for the flu (and…

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Recordkeeping and the New Federal Overtime Rules

Under the new federal overtime rules effective December 1 (the “Final Rule”), a salaried worker must earn at least $913 per week ($47,476 for a full-year worker) in order to be exempt from overtime pay, up from the current minimum of $455 per week ($23,660 for a full-year worker).  Employees who become newly eligible for…

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Should You Allow Your Employees Time Off to Vote? Three Considerations for Connecticut Employers

Election Day is now less than two weeks away. While many states require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote, Connecticut is not one of them. Employers in the state should, however, keep the following considerations in mind: If you provide your employees with paid vacation, personal days or other paid time…

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