Topic: Connecticut Supreme Court

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…

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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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The Connecticut Supreme Court Aces Another ABC Test

This is the latest in a series of blog posts on the so-called “ABC Test,” which is used in Connecticut to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. Last year the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a decision with an employer-friendly interpretation of the…

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What Is the Extent of an Employer’s Liability For the Acts of an Employee?

An employer can be liable for injury done by an employee to a third party under the doctrine known as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability can arise when the employee’s activity that caused the injury was done 1) on the express orders or directions of the employer, 2) carrying out the employer’s business within the scope…

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Workers Comp Continues To Be Exclusive Remedy for Workplace Injuries

Workers compensation laws are among the oldest protective labor statutes, dating back to the early 1900’s. Workers compensation embodies a simple tradeoff: employees may not bring personal injury lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries, but in return there is mandatory insurance so that claims can be processed quickly with funds available for payment, and…

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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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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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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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Supreme Court Reaffirms Workers Compensation Exclusivity

Workers compensation has been described as a bargain in which an employee who has suffered a workplace injury relinquishes potentially large common-law tort damages in exchange for relatively quick and certain compensation provided by workers compensation insurance. This principle is known as the exclusivity rule.   In the recent case of Velecela v. All Habitat Services,…

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Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms the Right of an Employer to Determine When Commissions Are Paid

As a general proposition, under Connecticut law an employer has the right to determine the wage that will be paid for work performed by an employee, subject to basic requirements such as minimum wage or overtime. For wages that are paid as commissions, this means that the employer determines in its commission plan both how…

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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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The Perennial Problem of References

Most employers would be very happy to receive a frank appraisal from a prospective employee’s former employer.  Yet most employers are themselves reluctant to give references concerning former employees, or any information beyond confirming job title and dates of employment, and possibly wage rates.  There is a perceived risk in actually giving a candid evaluation…

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Perceived Disability Now Recognized Under Connecticut Law

On Monday December 8, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Mireille Derosiers v. Diageo North America, Inc. et al. holding that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (the state counterpart to federal employment discrimination statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals whom…

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The Police Have The Right To Remain Silent Too: The Supreme Court Rules On The Disclosure Of Police Reports Under The FOIA

The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement agencies are required to release with regard to arrest records and associated reports.  This decision  could affect the ability of school boards, municipalities and other public bodies to investigate employee and student misconduct. The Court’s decision in Commissioner of Public Safety v.…

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Paying Employees For Travel Time

Both the state and federal wage and hour laws have provisions addressing the question of when time spent traveling by a non-exempt employee is compensable. A new decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court in the case of Sarrazin v. Coastal, Inc., decided on April 29, 2014, addresses various travel time issues. There are generally three…

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