Topic: Contracts

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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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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Can You Fire The Needle-Phobic Pharmacist Who Refuses To Perform Immunizations?

As more and more pharmacies move into the role of providing immunizations, someone has to perform those immunizations.  Often, this duty falls to the pharmacist.  So, what happens when a pharmacist claims he cannot perform immunizations due to trypanophobia – the fear of needles?  According to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate…

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Workers Comp Continues To Be Exclusive Remedy for Workplace Injuries

Workers compensation laws are among the oldest protective labor statutes, dating back to the early 1900’s. Workers compensation embodies a simple tradeoff: employees may not bring personal injury lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries, but in return there is mandatory insurance so that claims can be processed quickly with funds available for payment, and…

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Is Disloyalty Its Own Reward?

May a disloyal employee keep the compensation his employer paid him, even while he was betraying his employer’s trust? In a recent case, the Connecticut Supreme Court said “yes, at least in some circumstances.”  Here’s the story. The employee – we’ll call him Bill – worked for a building contractor – we’ll call it W…

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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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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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Finding Ways to Sue

An employee who is terminated from employment does not have a legal right to sue the employer simply because he believes that the termination was “unfair.” While union contracts typically contain a provision that discipline, including termination, be for just cause, there is no similar statute or rule of law that protects non-union employees generally.…

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Importance of Establishing An Employee’s Regular Rate of Pay

Overtime pay is calculated at a rate of one and one-half times a non-exempt employee’s regular rate, a well-known formula which obviously depends on establishing the employee’s regular rate of pay. This should ordinarily be simple, since the pay of  a non-exempt employee is usually stated in terms of an hourly rate of pay, and…

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Firing Employees For Private Facebook Posts: Employers Should Proceed With Caution

The recent filing of a lawsuit by a former television anchor against her former employer has magnified the need for employers to have a sound and meaningful social media policy. Former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania news anchor, Wendy Bell, was fired after she made a post on her personal Facebook page about the murder of six people…

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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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An Example of the Interplay Between State and Federal FMLA

Any Connecticut employer with more than 75 employees is subject to both the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts. The key provisions of the two laws are nearly identical, with one significant exception:  the Connecticut FMLA leave entitlement is 16 weeks within a 24-month period, whereas the federal FMLA entitlement is 12 weeks within…

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