Do You Comply With The New Personnel Files Statutes?

Last year the Connecticut legislature amended the state personnel files statutes to add specific compliance requirements in three areas. The prior statutes defined personnel and medical files, allowed employees to request inspection of their files, allowed employees to offer corrections, made personnel files confidential, and allowed employees to obtain copies. The amendments in Public Act…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2014 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting The Workplace

The 2014 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded.  The following is a cursory description of bills that were passed by the General Assembly that may be of interest.  A more detailed summary of these enactments will be forthcoming. S.B. No. 32/PUBLIC ACT No. 14-1: AN ACT CONCERNING WORKING FAMILIES’ WAGES.  This Act…

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Amendments to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Important amendments to the Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Act were included in this year’s legislation passed by the Legislature and expected to be signed by Governor Malloy. It is now illegal for an employer to “terminate” or “dismiss” (the law does not explain the difference) any employee or “transfer any employee from one work site…

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Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?” The majority of the time, the answer is “No.” That said, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does…

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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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Update From The 2014 Session Of The Connecticut General Assembly Regarding “Employee Privacy”/Social Media

 On April 23, 2014, the Connecticut Senate approved Senate Bill No. 317, “An Act Concerning Employee Privacy.”  This bill would generally prohibit employers from requiring employees (or job applicants) to provide passwords or user names to their “personal online accounts” as a condition of employment.  Among other things, the bill does contain an exception allowing…

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When Is Someone “At Work”? Implications For Unemployment Compensation Eligibility (And Beyond)

Connecticut’s unemployment compensation statutes disqualify individuals from eligibility for benefits for certain misconduct, such as “willful misconduct in the course of employment.”  A recent court case notes that the “course of employment” could include conduct by individuals in the course of grievance and other labor relations proceedings. In Morales v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation, 2013 WL…

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“May I Record A Conversation With My Employee Without His Knowledge?”

At the Pullman & Comley Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Seminar recently, I was asked by one of the attendees, an HR Director, whether she could record a disciplinary meeting with a troublesome employee without telling the employee. This is a question that comes up from time to time. More often, it’s an employee who…

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Testing the Boundaries of the Faragher/Ellerth Defense in Sexual Harassment Cases

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court created a defense for employers accused of permitting a supervisor to engage in unlawful sexual harassment of an employee.  In two seminal cases, the Court held that an employer is not vicariously liable for a supervisor’s workplace harassment of a subordinate if the employer can show: (1) that it…

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New Guidance – Is that Rollover Contribution Valid?

Since 1992, the ability to move retirement money from one qualified plan to another qualified plan or individual retirement account has been simplified.  One hiccup in this easing process has been determining the level of due diligence the recipient plan must do to confirm that the proposed rollover contribution is coming from a valid source. …

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Déjà vu All Over Again: Planning For New Hires In Light of The H-1B Visa Lottery

For the second year in a row, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has received more petitions in the opening week of H-1B visa season than the number of visas that are available for the entire year.  This is true of both the “standard” and “U.S. advanced degree” caps.  Consequently: The USCIS will…

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Latest Developments From The Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Speaks

Before the deadline for committee action, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted favorably on a plethora of bills and advanced them out of committee. Among the most noteworthy were: 1) a bill increasing the minimum wage, which has already been passed by both houses of the General Assembly and signed into law…

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Workplace Bullying and The Law

Could Jonathan Martin successfully sue the Miami Dolphins and Richie Incognito for workplace bullying?  Probably not. For one reason or another, the existing array of legal claims do not cover much of what would be considered workplace bullying.  And while there have been thoughtful efforts to develop model legislation which would provide a right of…

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Please Join Us At Pullman & Comley’s April 3rd “Strengthening Your Business With LGBT Diversity” Panel Discussion

On April 3rd, 2014, Pullman & Comley will host a panel discussion on how employers can strengthen their businesses through workplace diversity practices that promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (“LGBT”).  While many leading corporations throughout the country recognize employee diversity as a key part of their business strategies, LGBT professionals both in Connecticut and…

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