Topic: Company Handbooks

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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New York Employers, Beware of What You Ask Your Applicants and Employees: New York City’s Salary History Inquiry Ban

Because many of our clients are located in New York or have employees in New York, this blog post is the first of several posts on updates to New York, and New York City employment laws and regulations. More will follow in the coming weeks. On May 4, 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed into law…

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What Is a Regulated Drug Test?

In 1987, the Connecticut legislature passed Public Act 87-551, entitled An Act Concerning Drug Testing in the Workplace, which imposed restrictions on employer-required drug testing (now found at Sections 31-51t et seq of the General Statutes). In general, prospective employees may be required to submit to a drug test as part of the application procedure,…

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New Study Suggests Drug Use in Our Workforce is on the Rise ….How Can Employers Protect Themselves and Their Employees?

A recent study released by Quest Diagnostics reveals that drug use in the country’s workforce is on the rise. According to Quest’s analysis of more than ten million tests conducted in 2016, drug use among the combined US. workforce has increased to 4.2 percent, which is a five percent relative increase over 2015’s rate and…

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How Does the Withdrawal of the DOL’s 2015 and 2016 Informal Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors by Trump’s Secretary of Labor Impact Employers?

On June 7, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance documents on joint employment and independent contractors.  In the three sentence press release announcing the withdrawal, the DOL reminded employers that it plans to fully and fairly enforce all laws within…

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Tips For Documenting Employee Discipline

Most employment lawyers will tell you that more cases are won and lost due to documentation (or the lack thereof) than any other factor. This is because  juries typically will only believe employers if they “put it in writing.”  Conversely, when it comes down to the employer’s word against the employee’s word, an employer without…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2017 Regular Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting The Workplace

The 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded on June 7, 2017 without passing a budget. As such, the General Assembly will eventually have to convene a “special session”.  In the meantime, our legislature did pass several bills that will affect the workplace in Connecticut.  Among other things, the legislature enacted bills that…

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Takeaways For Employers From The Uber, Fox News and Trump Sexual Harassment Scandals

Last week, Uber announced the firing of at least 20 employees, resulting from an investigation of 215 harassment complaints at the company. Then, on June 13, its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, announced he would be taking a leave of absence.  Not long ago, Fox News fired its now-deceased CEO, Roger Ailes, after he and other…

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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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Bringing Your Dog to Work: Service Animals as Disability Accommodation

The reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability that may be required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act can take many forms, including an employee coming to work each day accompanied an animal. The ADA and the FEPA have two main components for persons with disabilities: protections for employees…

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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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Supervisor’s Personal Liability for Harassment

A recent case filed in the Waterbury superior court, Denault v. Community Mental Health Affiliates, et al, alleging an unfortunately familiar pattern of sexual harassment in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, named both the company and the harassing supervisor as defendants, and alleged that the individual supervisor had personal liability for his…

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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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What Is the Extent of an Employer’s Liability For the Acts of an Employee?

An employer can be liable for injury done by an employee to a third party under the doctrine known as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability can arise when the employee’s activity that caused the injury was done 1) on the express orders or directions of the employer, 2) carrying out the employer’s business within the scope…

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Gender Identity Bathroom Access – From Schools To The Workplace

As readers of our Education Law Notes blog are well aware, there has been a lot of focus on the rights of transgender students with respect to bathroom access in educational institutions under Title IX. The rights of transgender employees to utilize the bathroom matching their gender identity under Title VII, however, has received far…

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