Topic: U.S. Department of Labor

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…

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Making Sure Your At-Will Employees Remain At-Will

Almost every state, including Connecticut, recognizes the doctrine of employment-at-will, meaning that in the absence of a contractual provision to the contrary, the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or for no reason. There are federal and state statutory exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine, such as…

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New Study Suggests Drug Use in Our Workforce is on the Rise ….How Can Employers Protect Themselves and Their Employees?

A recent study released by Quest Diagnostics reveals that drug use in the country’s workforce is on the rise. According to Quest’s analysis of more than ten million tests conducted in 2016, drug use among the combined US. workforce has increased to 4.2 percent, which is a five percent relative increase over 2015’s rate and…

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How Does the Withdrawal of the DOL’s 2015 and 2016 Informal Guidance on Joint Employment and Independent Contractors by Trump’s Secretary of Labor Impact Employers?

On June 7, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance documents on joint employment and independent contractors.  In the three sentence press release announcing the withdrawal, the DOL reminded employers that it plans to fully and fairly enforce all laws within…

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The Law Governing Unpaid Interns, Part II: Rights Under Federal and State Nondiscrimination Laws

This is the second of two blogs covering the law governing unpaid interns and volunteers. Our first blog reviewed the basic criteria for determining whether a worker can properly be considered an unpaid intern or volunteer. This blog focuses on the rights of these uncompensated workers under federal and state nondiscrimination laws. Federal Law For…

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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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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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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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Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Employment Visas?

While many observers of the 2016 United States presidential campaign have called immigration policy one of the central issues in the election, the implications of that heightened attention to the issue are not equally clear for all stakeholders in the system. Unlike the high-profile deportation, “amnesty,” and border security discussions that capture much of the…

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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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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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