Topic: Company Handbooks

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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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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Honesty is the Best Policy

May an employer fire an employee for lying about the reason for an absence? In a recent decision, the Connecticut Appellate Court said “yes.” Orlando Martinez worked for Polar Industries as a machine operator. He was called for jury duty on October 21, 2013.  His employer didn’t grant paid sick days, but did pay employees…

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The Same Actor Defense Requires the Same Stage

Employment defense lawyers are fond of the “same actor” defense to discrimination claims because it combines legal theory and common sense. The same actor inference can be used in cases based on claims of discrimination on account of characteristics such as race, gender or ethnicity, where the same supervisor both hired and fired the plaintiff.…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: January 31st Public Hearing

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills: Proposed H.B. No. 5151 AN ACT CONCERNING TIMETABLES FOR MUNICIPAL BINDING ARBITRATION. This proposed bill would require all municipal employers and unions to complete negotiations within one year from the date that…

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