Mark Sommaruga

Mark Sommaruga

Pullman & Comley, LLC

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Education Committee Begins to Speak

The General Assembly’s Education Committee is beginning the process of approving bills. The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed bills that Education Committee voted favorably on and advanced...more

3/22/2017 - DOE Online Education Student Records Students Teachers

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Begins to Speak - March 2017

At its February 21, 2017 and March 2, 2017 meetings, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee began the process of approving bills. The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed...more

3/13/2017 - Age Discrimination Arbitration Debit and Credit Card Transactions DOL General Assembly Hiring & Firing Mediation Minimum Wage Paid Sick Leave Act Pay Equity Act (PEA) Pay Equity Laws Public Employees Unemployment Wage and Hour Workplace Injury

Undocumented Immigrants, The Schools And The Obligations To Cooperate With “ICE”

A lot of heat is emanating from Washington D.C. over enforcement of laws concerning “undocumented” immigrants. Especially controversial is the possibility of greater action by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...more

2/24/2017 - FERPA ICE Students Undocumented Immigrants

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 16th Public Hearing (Wage/Hour and Leave)

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, 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” and leave issues (and some of...more

2/15/2017 - Employer Liability Issues Medical Leave Minimum Wage On-Call Employees Paid Family Leave Law Paid Leave Paid Sick Leave Act Pay Equity Laws Pregnancy Disability Leave Law Public Hearing Unemployment Wage and Hour

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...more

2/9/2017 - General Assembly Minimum Wage Pay Equity Laws Public Hearing Unemployment Compensation System Wage and Hour

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...more

1/30/2017 - Binding Arbitration Co-payments Drug Testing FMLA General Assembly Over-Time Paid Sick Leave Act Pay Equity Laws Proposed Legislation Public Hearing Wage and Hour

They’re Back! What Can Schools Expect from the 2017 General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. One can assume that a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut school districts will be...more

1/9/2017 - General Assembly New Legislation School Districts Students Teachers

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...more

1/3/2017 - Ban the Box Employee Rights FMLA General Assembly Public Employees Wage and Hour Workers Compensation Act

I Meant What I Said: Transgender Student Rights In Connecticut In The Face Of The Latest Federal Court Developments

As we have previously written, the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance for school districts regarding transgender students via a May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague Letter.” This guidance was...more

10/12/2016 - Dear Colleague Letter DOE DOJ Gender Discrimination Gender Identity School Districts Title IX Transgender

The Aftermath Of The CCJEF Ruling: What Is Next For Public Education In Connecticut?

On September 7, 2016, Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher issued a lengthy decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell. As its name would suggest, this case involved a challenge to...more

9/13/2016 - Education Budget Education Reform Educational Institutions Funding Teachers

Don’t Picture This: The FOIA And The Use Of Smartphones As A Substitute For Paying For Copies

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally permits public agencies to charge for copies (usually, $0.50/page) when complying with FOIA requests. One exception to this fee requirement is that an individual may...more

8/19/2016 - Cell Phones Fees FOIA FOIC Inspection Rights Photographs Public Agencies Public Records School Districts

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA (Part Three): Trying To Do The Right Thing Is A Good Thing Under The FOIA

In our latest posting on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], we confirm that the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has a heart, and may sometimes forgive technical non-compliance by public agencies and their...more

7/27/2016 - Administrative Proceedings Board of Supervisors FOIA FOIC Public Agencies School Districts

Coming to a workplace near you: “legal” bi-weekly pay, direct deposit and pay cards

A prominent portion of Connecticut workplaces provide payment to employees via a bi-weekly pay check, with the weekly pay check almost an anachronism. In addition, many workplaces pay their employees by “direct deposit” of...more

7/21/2016 - Deposit Accounts DOL New Legislation Payroll Cards Payroll Periods Payroll Records Wage and Hour

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar...more

7/7/2016 - Discovery FOIA FOIC Personal Exemptions Privacy Concerns Public Agencies Public Policy Workplace Investigations

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter...more

6/14/2016 - FOIA FOIC Open Meetings Act Public Meetings

Arbitrators Have The Right To Be Wrong: The Second Circuit Speaks About “Deflategate” (And What’s Next)

When we last wrote about “Deflategate”, Tom Brady, the National Football League Players Association [“NFLPA”] and New England Patriots fans were basking in the glory of the reversal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s...more

5/25/2016 - Appeals Arbitrators Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) Deflategate New England Patriots NFL Standard of Review Tom Brady Work Suspensions

Transgender Student Issues – The FEDs Speak, But Is It Really News In Connecticut?

On May 13, 2016, with much fanfare, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” [“DCL”] in order to provide guidance for school districts with...more

5/24/2016 - Colleges Dear Colleague Letter Department of Education DOJ FERPA Gender Identity Public Schools School Restrooms Sexual Orientation Discrimination Student Athletes Students Title IX Transgender Universities

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Speaks: March 2016

The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee was active before its March 17, 2016 deadline for approving bills, voting favorably and advancing many bills out of committee....more

3/31/2016 - Coaches Disability Insurance Fair Chance Act General Assembly Minimum Wage Prevailing Wages Unemployment Compensation System Wage and Hour Workers Compensation Act Working Conditions

So You Need A New Board Member: Legal Concerns When Filling Vacancies

For better or worse, elected municipal officials (such as school board members) are sometimes unable to complete their term of office, and thus boards of education are faced with having to fill vacancies. Here is a brief...more

3/23/2016 - Administrative Resignation Board of Education Board Vacancies Municipalities Policies and Procedures Public School Boards

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 25th Public Hearing

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on several proposed bills. One of the bills to be discussed would prevent employers from requiring job...more

2/22/2016 - Criminal Background Checks General Assembly Legislative Agendas Payroll Cards Public Hearing

What Can Schools Expect from the 2016 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On February 3, 2016, the 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. Adjournment is scheduled for May 4, 2016. One can assume that a plethora of proposed bills affecting Connecticut school districts will be...more

2/18/2016 - Data Privacy Education Budget General Assembly Legislative Committees Proposed Legislation Special Education Teachers

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 16th Public Hearing

On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills...more

2/15/2016 - General Assembly Hiring & Firing Legislative Committees Proposed Legislation Public Hearing Sick Leave Wage and Hour Working Conditions

What Can Employers Expect from the 2016 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On February 3, 2016, the 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly began. The session is scheduled to adjourn on May 4, 2016. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed...more

2/12/2016 - FMLA General Assembly Legislative Agendas Prevailing Wages Workers Compensation Reform Workplace Bullying

Attorneys Are Not So Special After All: The FOIA and the Need for Specific Agenda Items

Generally, Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] requires that a public agency preparing an agenda/posting for a meeting ensure that each agenda item is specific enough to apprise the public of the action...more

1/21/2016 - Attorney-Client Privilege Board of Education FOIA Legislative Agendas Public Agencies Public Meetings

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