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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The Best Defense Is A Good Offense: Employers’ Use of The FOIA For Background Checks

In representing primarily public sector bodies over most of my career, I have generally been in a position of advising clients in how to comply with Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests, and thus usually assist those in a “defensive” posture.   However, in light of the FOIA’s limited protections and exemptions with regard to the…

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Employee Theft of Employer Documents—Protected Conduct in Opposition to Discrimination or Criminal Activity?

What happens to board of education employees who steal board documents to support a lawsuit against their employer?  In New Jersey, at least, they are criminally prosecuted.  In State V. Saavedra, Docket No. A-1449-12T4 (Dec. 24, 2013)(link), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the indictment of a North Bergen Board of Education [“Board”] employee who…

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Revamping Overtime Regulations: No Specifics Yet

President Obama announced this week that he is directing the Secretary of Labor to “modernize and streamline” existing overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He characterized the current regulations as “outdated,” and instructed the Secretary to “consider how the regulations could be revised to update existing protections consistent with the intent of the…

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The Current State of Whistleblower Protections in Connecticut

In the employment context, a “whistleblower” is an employee who discloses the illegal practices of his employer, usually by a report or complaint to a public authority.  There are a variety of statutory protections for whistleblowers, and the current legislature is contemplating an expansion of these protections. Oddly, the initial legal protection for whistleblowers in…

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Will The Material Change Doctrine Reduce Your Ability to Enforce Your Non-Competes?

Consider this:  An employee signs a perfectly reasonable non-compete/non-solicitation agreement at the inception of employment.  The employee remains with the employer for ten years and during that period, receives several promotions each of which changes or increases the employee’s duties.  Each of these jobs requires the employee to have significant customer contacts and become privy…

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2014 Seminar Speaker Announced

We are pleased to announce that Paul Lambert of 360 Corporate Benefit Advisors, an independent employee benefits consulting agency with specific expertise in health and welfare consulting,  will be the lunchtime speaker at our upcoming seminar on March 14.  His topic is The Affordable Care Act—A View from Ground Zero.  Paul will cover how the…

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Limits on Control of Employee Smoking

The recent announcement by CVS pharmacies to eliminate the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products prompts a review of the employment statutes that pertain to smoking by employees.  In brief, employers can limit or prohibit smoking on the job, but not outside the course of employment. Section 31-40q of the Connecticut General Statutes protects…

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What is the Appropriate Punishment for Actual and Perceived Threats in the Workplace?

Employers increasingly are concerned about threats to safety in the workplace.  At the same time, employers must be aware of the rights of any  employee accused of wrongdoing.  For a discussion of a recent case highlighting this tension, please visit Education Law Notes.…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly

The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will be having its next public hearing on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building. The Committee will consider the following bills: Senate Bill. No. 219 (RAISED), AN ACT CONCERNING THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM CONTRIBUTION RATE.  This bill…

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“Mind Your Own Business”- The Connecticut Supreme Court Limits Challenges to Licensing and Certification Decisions by Public Agencies in Lopez v. Bridgeport Board of Education.

In a much ballyhooed case, certain residents and taxpayers of the City of Bridgeport brought a “quo warranto” action in the courts, challenging the qualifications of the City’s Superintendent of Schools (Paul Vallas) to hold his position, due to a failure to have the appropriate certification for a Connecticut school superintendent.  Vallas came to the…

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2014 Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits and Immigration Law Seminar

As part of Pullman & Comley’s ongoing seminar series addressing the latest legal developments affecting employers and the workplace, we are pleased to announce that our Spring Seminar will be held this year on Friday, March 14 in Norwalk. Topics will include: The Affordable Care Act: What Employers Need to Know Now The DOL’s “Misclassification…

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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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