Topic: Department of Labor

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 9th Public Hearing (and wage/hour bills)

On Thursday, February 9, 2017 (weather permitting), the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills, many of which concern “wage and hour” issues: S.B. No. 13 AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE. This proposed bill would increase the minimum wage from the current $10.10/hour…

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Employment-Related Effects of New Executive Orders on Immigration

Many of our readers are undoubtedly wondering about the impact on the workplace of the new administration’s various immigration-related executive orders of the past week. While much of the subject matter of those orders is beyond the scope of this employment-law blog, there are a handful of points that employers and employees should be aware…

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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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The Department of Labor Opines That The Fair Labor Standards Act Sets The Floor With Respect To Wage Standards For Disabled Workers

On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance on the payment of subminimum (or special minimum) wages to workers with disabilities.  As many are aware, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) authorizes the DOL to issue certificates permitting employers to pay subminimum wages to workers who…

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Can a Single Employee Go On Strike Against a Non-Union Company?

The short answer is “yes.”  The National Labor Relations Act extends the same protections to employees of non-unionized employers as it does to union members.  One of those protections is the right to engage in a strike, which is simply a work stoppage in support of a concerted activity, such as a demand for changes…

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News Update: Texas Judge Enjoins Enforcement of U.S. DOL’s Overtime Rule Set to Take Effect on Dec. 1

Judge Amos Mazzant, the President Obama-appointed federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, issued a decision on November 22, 2016, granting an emergency injunction against the United States Labor Department’s overtime rule.  The rule, previously set to take effect Dec. 1, doubles (to $47,476) the salary threshold 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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Update on the Employment Application Process and Background Checks

Now that Massachusetts has barred its employers from asking job applicants about salary information (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4509 ), and Connecticut has joined the “Ban the Box” trend (prohibiting employers from asking applicants about arrests and convictions in an initial job application), and since many businesses still do not understand either the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act’s requirements…

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The ABC’s Of Worker Classification Are Once Again Before The Connecticut Supreme Court

We have blogged before about the “ABC Test,” used in Connecticut to determine whether a worker is considered an employee for purposes of eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. Most recently, my partner Michael LaVelle discussed a 2016 Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, in which the Court held that workers…

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Coming To A Workplace Near You: “Legal” Bi-Weekly Pay, Direct Deposit and Pay Cards

A prominent portion of Connecticut workplaces provide payment to employees via a bi-weekly pay check, with the weekly pay check almost an anachronism. In addition, many workplaces pay their employees by “direct deposit” of wages into the employees’ bank accounts.  To be blunt, many of these arrangements have been less than legal under Connecticut’s wage-hour…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2016 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting The Workplace

The 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded, along with subsequent “special sessions.” Most prominently from an employment law standpoint, the General Assembly passed (and the Governor signed) legislation that: 1) prohibits most employers from inquiring via an initial employment application into a job applicant’s prior criminal history, 2) establishes a state…

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Government Releases New Overtime Exemption Rule

Late yesterday (May 17, 2016), the United States Department of Labor finally released its long-awaited new rule for determining which American workers are entitled to overtime pay – time-and-a-half for hours above forty in any workweek – and which are not. On the key issue of the salary threshold – the amount that an employee…

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Travel Time Is Paid Time, Sometimes

Employment typically requires an employee to commute from home to work, and home again at the end of the workday. Department of Labor regulations interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act recognize that the typical morning and evening commute, referred to in the regulations as home-to-work travel, is not compensable as work time.  This is so…

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Employers Have Flexibility in Applying the Professional Exemption

The basic premise of the Fair Labor Standards Act with regard to overtime pay is that all employees are to be paid overtime unless they qualify for an exemption. Among the exemptions are the three categories known as “white collar workers:” employees whose primary duty is executive, administrative, or professional, as defined in U. S.…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Speaks

The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee was active before its March 17, 2016 deadline for approving bills, voting favorably and advancing many bills out of committee. Consistent with the Governor’s numerous “second chance” initiatives, the Committee approved a bill that would prevent certain employers from a) requiring job applicants to disclose their criminal…

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