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…

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WHAT DID YOU EARN IN YOUR LAST JOB?

When you hire new employees at your company, do you ask applicants what they currently earn, or what they were paid in past positions? Regular readers of Working Together may recall that nearly a year ago we discussed a bill reported favorably out of the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee which would have…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Unpaid Disciplinary Suspensions Require a Careful Reading of Federal and State Law

Counseling and written warnings are common steps employers take to address employee attendance issues (such as habitual tardiness) or performance issues (such as failing to complete assigned work on time). But what if the employer is faced with an employee who engages in serious workplace misconduct, such as sexual harassment or violence? As recent news…

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AN EARLY HALLOWEEN TRICK FOR CONNECTICUT’S PUBLIC-SECTOR LABOR UNIONS: WILL JANUS V. AFSCME, CO. 31 BE THE END OF THE AGENCY SHOP?

Did Halloween come early this year? Well it just may have for Connecticut’s public-sector unions. On September 28th, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, thus once again agreeing to hear a case that poses the question of whether union agency fee…

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TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE: SEVERSON V. HEARTLAND WOODCRAFT, INC. AND THE LIMITS OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER THE ADA

Although less rare than the recent solar eclipse, common-sense results can be elusive when dealing with workplace discrimination lawsuits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, however, recently delivered such a decision in the case of Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., in which the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s finding that…

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