Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 9th Public Hearing (and wage/hour bills)

On Thursday, February 9, 2017 (weather permitting), the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills, many of which concern “wage and hour” issues: S.B. No. 13 AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE. This proposed bill would increase the minimum wage from the current $10.10/hour…

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Employment-Related Effects of New Executive Orders on Immigration

Many of our readers are undoubtedly wondering about the impact on the workplace of the new administration’s various immigration-related executive orders of the past week. While much of the subject matter of those orders is beyond the scope of this employment-law blog, there are a handful of points that employers and employees should be aware…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: January 31st Public Hearing

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills: Proposed H.B. No. 5151 AN ACT CONCERNING TIMETABLES FOR MUNICIPAL BINDING ARBITRATION. This proposed bill would require all municipal employers and unions to complete negotiations within one year from the date that…

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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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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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The Department of Labor Opines That The Fair Labor Standards Act Sets The Floor With Respect To Wage Standards For Disabled Workers

On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance on the payment of subminimum (or special minimum) wages to workers with disabilities.  As many are aware, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) authorizes the DOL to issue certificates permitting employers to pay subminimum wages to workers who…

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They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during the session, most of which will never see the light of day. The Labor and Public Employees Committee will be where…

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“CURES ACT” Authorizes Small Employers to Reimburse Employees for Health Insurance Costs

One major area of confusion and annoyance created by the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) has finally been put to rest with the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13, 2016 (the “Cures Act”).  Many small employers were chagrined by the IRS pronouncement in 2013 (IRS Notice 2013-54) that the ACA prohibited…

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Can a Single Employee Go On Strike Against a Non-Union Company?

The short answer is “yes.”  The National Labor Relations Act extends the same protections to employees of non-unionized employers as it does to union members.  One of those protections is the right to engage in a strike, which is simply a work stoppage in support of a concerted activity, such as a demand for changes…

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The NLRB’s Challenge To Bridgewater’s Confidentiality Clauses: Its Significance For Employers

The NLRB’s new focus on non-union employment has been well–chronicled here.  Employment contract provisions thought to be governed only by state contract law principles are now subject to the federal National Labor Relations Act and its unfair labor practice prohibition.  Recent NLRB activity concerning confidentiality provisions in hedge fund Bridgewater Associates’ standard employment contract underscores…

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News Update: Texas Judge Enjoins Enforcement of U.S. DOL’s Overtime Rule Set to Take Effect on Dec. 1

Judge Amos Mazzant, the President Obama-appointed federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, issued a decision on November 22, 2016, granting an emergency injunction against the United States Labor Department’s overtime rule.  The rule, previously set to take effect Dec. 1, doubles (to $47,476) the salary threshold for…

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Importance of Establishing An Employee’s Regular Rate of Pay

Overtime pay is calculated at a rate of one and one-half times a non-exempt employee’s regular rate, a well-known formula which obviously depends on establishing the employee’s regular rate of pay. This should ordinarily be simple, since the pay of  a non-exempt employee is usually stated in terms of an hourly rate of pay, and…

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