Topic: Employment

Hear No Evil; See No Evil: The General Corporate Knowledge Presumption

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of Kwan v. The Andalex Group LLC, – F.3d – (2d Cir. 2013) as it related to the likelihood of obtaining summary judgment on Title VII retaliation claims in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Nassar decision, which seemingly raised the employee’s standard of proof of…

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What Can We Expect from this Connecticut General Assembly Session?

 On February 6, 2014, the 2014 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began.  Since this is an election year, the session will be relatively short, with adjournment scheduled for May 7, 2014.   We can expect a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees that will be unleashed during the session, most of which…

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Good Cop or Bad Cop: The Public’s Right to Know

As you may have learned through media reports or your favorite television cop show,  allegations of misdeeds by police officers usually proceed through a police department’s “Internal Affairs” [“IA”] investigation process.  In today’s world, it is not surprising that journalists and members of the public may want to have access to these IA records and…

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What is a Workday?

Connecticut has an interesting statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-21, which declares that “eight hours of labor performed in any one day by any one person shall be a legal day’s work unless otherwise agreed.”  But what is the meaning of a ‘legal day’s work,” and does it restrict employers and employees who would like to…

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Employee or Independent Contractor? – If You Have the Right to Control Them, They’re Yours

When we analyze the question whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, we usually approach the issue from the point of view of the Connecticut Department of Labor and apply the “ABC” test, or from the point of view of another government agency (i.e., the IRS or the USDOL) and apply the…

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Yesterday, January 28th was Data Privacy Day!

Led by the non-profit group, National Cyber Security Alliance, the first Data Privacy Day was celebrated in the United States in 2008.   We here at Pullman & Comley got a jump on celebrating Data Privacy Day with our “Data Privacy, Cybersecurity and Your Business” Seminar last week, and we know that it is important to…

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Supreme Court Defines “Clothes”

Yesterday (January 27), the Supreme Court issued a ruling that defines the word “clothes” for purposes of a federal statute that allows employers and unions to bargain over pay for time spent by employees “changing clothes or washing at the beginning or end of each workday.”  According to Justice Scalia, who relies on a 1950…

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Employee Gripes: When Employers Should Take Them Seriously

An employee’s speech in the workplace may be disruptive to the day-to-day running of your company or worse, downright offensive and “bad for business.”  This blog post will discuss when an employer is free to discipline an employee for their speech and when they can not because some speech begets legal protection while other speech…

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The FOIA and the Great Beyond-Personnel File Exceptions Do Not Belong to the Deceased

In a recent case, the Superior Court reminded us all about the limitations that exist under the so-called “personnel files” exception to the disclosure of records under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  One prominent limitation to this exception is that one must actually be alive in order to assert a privacy right in a…

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Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements May Not Be Dead After All

Many employers offer employees Health Reimbursement Arrangements (“HRAs”) to assist employees meet their health care related expenses.  Often such employer funded arrangements are not “integrated” with an insured health plan, rather they are offered as a “stand-alone” arrangement.  On September 13, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service with the concurrence of the U.S. Departments of Labor…

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When Your Employees Go to Court – Witness Duty

This post continues the discussion of employees absent from work for attendance at court.  As a general proposition, employees who appear in court for their own cases, or on behalf of others, are not excused from work.  They must use excused time off, such as vacation or personal time. One exception is for victims of…

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Investigating Employee Complaints – An Employer’s Double Bind

An employee, having been notified of his impending termination, complains to his employer of discrimination.  A human resources professional retained by the employer to investigate the complaint concludes that the employee was treated fairly with respect to the termination of his employment.  At trial in the employee’s subsequent lawsuit, may the employer introduce evidence of…

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When Your Employees Go To Court – Jury Duty

This post discusses the Connecticut statutes that come into play when employees must go to court during what would otherwise be a day at work. A summons to jury duty is also a state-mandated excuse from attendance at work.  Conn. Gen. Stat. §51-247a prohibits employers from discharging, threatenting or otherwise coercing employees who receive a…

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Book on Freedom of Information Act by Attorney Sommaruga Released

Pullman & Comley, along  with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, have jointly published Understanding the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and Access to Public Meetings and Records, written by Mark J. Sommaruga, Esq., a member of Pullman & Comley’s Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Department and School Law section.  This book is…

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Lessons from the National Football League in the Workplace

Regardless of whether one is a Miami Dolphins or NFL fan, the recent investigation by the NFL regarding allegations of bullying involving Jonathan Martin may tell a precautionary tale for all employers.  Briefly, Martin left the Dolphins in the middle of the 2013 NFL season, claiming that he had been a victim of bullying by…

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