Topic: Labor

March is Women’s History Month: A Look at 3 Laws Protecting the Rights of Women in the Workplace

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly half of U.S. workers are women. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of employment, was enacted over 50 years ago, but women still face challenges in the workplace. As March is Women’s History Month, now is a…

Read more

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: March 8th Public Hearing

On Thursday, March 8, 2018, 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: 1. H.B. No. 5387 AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE. This bill would provide paid family and medical leave benefits to eligible…

Read more

Second Circuit Rules That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court covering Connecticut, New York and Vermont), on Monday, February 26, 2018, issued a decision overturning its prior rulings and holding definitively that Title VII’s ban on “discrimination on the basis of sex” prohibits discrimination because of an employee’s sexual orientation. Connecticut state law has since…

Read more

Is a Broken Arm a Disability?

In Connecticut, employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination by both the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”). Some disabilities are obvious and permanent; for instance, no one would dispute that an amputated limb qualified as a disability under the law. However, employers are sometimes faced…

Read more

Connecticut Employers Have New Notification Requirement Beginning January 29

The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CT FEPA) was amended during the past legislative session to enhance the protections available to pregnant women in the workplace. Among the new provisions of the law (which applies to employers of three or more employees as well as the state and political subdivisions) is the requirement that the…

Read more

OSHA “Paper” Investigations

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has broad power to inspect workplaces. Section 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act empowers OSHA inspectors “to enter without delay and at reasonable times any factory, plant, establishment, construction site” or other workplace.  Inspectors have the right to inspect and investigate during regular working hours and…

Read more

The Critical Impact of Pretext in Employment Discrimination Cases

“I can’t believe you are firing me for ‘performance issues’. I received ‘exceeds expectations’ in all categories of my last five performance evaluations. You gotta be kidding me!” “I don’t understand why you denied me the promotion to assistant manager on the basis that I don’t have a college degree. None of the last three…

Read more

When Does Work Constitute “Training” For Purposes Of Determining Whether An Intern Is Really An Employee?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (which includes Connecticut) recently revisited the question of when an unpaid intern is actually an intern, as opposed to an employee. This time, the Court focused on whether the internship provided sufficient “training” to qualify as an internship even though the interns were often performing menial…

Read more

USCIS to Rescind Work Authorization Rule for H-4 Spouses

On December 14, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it is preparing proposed regulations eliminating United States work authorization for certain holders of H-4 visas, a derivative visa classification that permits a member of an H-1B visa holder’s family to accompany him or her to the United States. The authorization in question was…

Read more

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT EFFECTS OF THE STATE BUDGET “IMPLEMENTER”

While several bills were enacted earlier this year affecting Connecticut employers (see our post on them here), the 2017 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly was not the final word. Due to the lack of a budget, the General Assembly had to convene a “special session.”  Finally, in late October, our long state nightmare…

Read more

Paid Family Leave May Be Just Around the Corner

Although the Connecticut General Assembly was not particularly active in employment legislation– perhaps because of the protracted budget crisis– our neighboring State of New York adopted a major new employment entitlement this year: paid family leave. Commencing on January 1, 2018, most employees in New York State will be eligible to receive weekly benefit payments…

Read more

The Regular Rate of Pay May Not Be As Obvious As It Seems

This blog has previously addressed various complications in establishing the regular rate of pay on which the calculation of overtime is based. See our November 21, 2016 post Importance of Establishing An Employee’s Regular Rate of Pay here..   To recap, overtime pay is calculated at the rate of one and one half times an employee’s…

Read more

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Against Use of Fluctuating Workweek Method in Calculating Overtime Pay for Retail Employees

On August 17, 2017, in Williams v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., the Connecticut Supreme Court invalidated the fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime pay for retail employees who are paid in whole or in part by commission.  The effect of this ruling is particularly significant to multi-state retail establishments with Connecticut employees, as the ruling…

Read more

Overtime Update

What happened to the Obama administration’s proposed new rule on employee eligibility for overtime pay?  Seven months into the Trump administration, do we know what to expect?  Recent events provide some clarity on these questions. A year ago, many employers were preparing to implement a new rule adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor, under…

Read more