Topic: Employee Benefits

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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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Begins to Speak

At its February 21, 2017 and March 2, 2017 meetings, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee began the process of approving bills. The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed bills that the Labor and Public Employees Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at those meetings:…

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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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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 16th Public Hearing (Wage/Hour and Leave)

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, 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” and leave issues (and some of which were considered last year): S.B. No. 13 AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE.  This proposed bill would…

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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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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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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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ALERT: NEW FORM I-9 MANDATORY FROM JANUARY 22, 2017

Beginning this Sunday, January 22, 2017, employers will be required to use the most current version of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service Form I-9, the form employers are required to use to verify the employment authorization of each individual they hire.  While the new form has co-existed with the 2013 version since the newer one…

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Some Workers Compensation Principles That Are Often Misunderstood

A recent decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court sheds light on some common misunderstandings of the reach of workers compensation benefits. The basic events in Hart v. Federal Express Corporation, 321 Conn. 1 (decided April 19, 2016) are not controversial.  The plaintiff was a delivery driver who experienced a debilitating combination of a large number…

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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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They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during the session, most of which will never see the light of day. The Labor and Public Employees Committee will be where…

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“CURES ACT” Authorizes Small Employers to Reimburse Employees for Health Insurance Costs

One major area of confusion and annoyance created by the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) has finally been put to rest with the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13, 2016 (the “Cures Act”).  Many small employers were chagrined by the IRS pronouncement in 2013 (IRS Notice 2013-54) that the ACA prohibited…

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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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