Michael LaVelle

Michael LaVelle

Pullman & Comley, LLC

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Timing and Consistency in Employee Discipline

A recent case decided by the Connecticut Appellate Court illustrates the importance of timing and consistency in administering employee discipline. In Barbee v. Sysco Connecticut, LLC, an opinion released on April 28, 2015,...more

5/8/2015 - Hiring & Firing Retaliation Sysco Termination Wholesale Work Suspensions Workers' Compensation Defense Wrongful Termination

A Tip for Employers: Be Aware of How the Department of Labor Interprets Its Regulations

This story applies directly only to the restaurant industry, but it is a cautionary tale for every employer in Connecticut subject to the Department of Labor’s authority to write and interpret its regulations....more

4/23/2015 - DOL Employer Liability Issues Restaurant Industry Statutory Interpretation Tip Credit Tipped Employees Wage and Hour

Insubordination Can Disqualify an Employee From Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Unemployment compensation is a form of social insurance. Workers who lose their jobs receive benefits – which are less than they earned when employed – to provide a level of income while transitioning to the next job. ...more

4/8/2015 - Insubordination Policy Unemployment Benefits Unemployment Insurance Willful Misconduct

What is The “Right To Work”?

With a bill signed into law last month, Wisconsin became the nation’s 25th “right to work” state. In this context, right-to-work means the right of an employee of a unionized company to retain his job even if he chooses not...more

4/3/2015 - Right to Work Taft-Hartley Act Union Membership Unions

The Perennial Problem of References

Most employers would be very happy to receive a frank appraisal from a prospective employee’s former employer. Yet most employers are themselves reluctant to give references concerning former employees, or any information...more

3/24/2015 - Employee References Employer Liability Issues Former Employee

Potential New Salary Minimum for Exempt Employees

The test for classifying employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements may be briefly summarized as follows: the employee must be paid on a salary basis (i.e., receive the same base salary...more

3/17/2015 - Classification DOL Exempt-Employees FLSA Minimum Salary Wage and Hour

Innovative Payroll Practices May Not Be Legal

Connecticut law still allows employees to be paid their weekly pay in cash in pay envelopes, although this cumbersome practice has largely if not entirely given way to more modern forms of disbursement. In particular,...more

3/12/2015 - Payroll Cards Wages

CT Law of the Land

AC36196 - Verrillo v. Zoning Board of Appeals - Attorneys who practice in the land-use arena know that there is often a divergence between how local Zoning Board of Appeals (“ZBAs”), comprised of lay members, view...more

3/11/2015 - Appeals Burden of Proof Undue Hardship Variances Zoning Laws

Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The...more

2/19/2015 - ADA Employer Liability Issues Essential Functions Reasonable Accommodation

CT Law of the Land

Week of January 12 - On January 7, 2015, the Planning & Zoning Section of the Connecticut Bar Association met in Cromwell, CT with special guest Judge Marshall Berger. The main focus of the meeting was Practice Book...more

1/26/2015 - State and Local Government

Evolution of a Statutory Benefit: Use of Paid Sick Leave by Employees Who Aren’t Sick Themselves

The Connecticut employment laws mandate several workplace protections for employees which in an earlier era would have been found only in collective bargaining agreements or the employer’s own policies. Just a few examples...more

12/23/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Mandates FMLA

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait – At No Extra Charge

Last month, this blog discussed a case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether employees who were required to pass through a security clearance at the beginning and end of their shifts could claim that the...more

12/10/2014

The Importance of Timing in Employment Terminations

There is a saying that “timing is everything,” and in some instances of employment termination, the timing, if not everything, may still be an important consideration....more

12/2/2014 - ADA Discipline Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues ERISA FMLA Hiring & Firing Termination Title VII

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait – and Get Paid for It

When the poet John Milton observed that “they also serve who only stand and wait,” it was unlikely that he was thinking about employees who are required to pass through security clearance when leaving the workplace at the end...more

11/19/2014 - FLSA Integrity Staffing v Busk Oral Argument SCOTUS Security Clearance Wage and Hour

A Question To Be Answered By The Supreme Court: Should You Discuss The Obvious At Job Interviews?

Sometime next year the United States Supreme Court will decide whether a job interviewer had an obligation to inform an applicant that the interviewer has noticed that the applicant is wearing a headscarf. Put another way, on...more

10/15/2014 - Abercrombie & Fitch Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Interviews Job Applicants Religious Clothing Religious Discrimination SCOTUS

Reacting to Employee Off-The-Job Misconduct

A very concerned CEO calls his attorney. He has just learned that several months ago a key employee punched his fiancée, knocking her unconscious. There was a criminal charge that was dismissed, and the couple later married,...more

10/7/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Criminal Prosecution Domestic Violence Employer Liability Issues Off-The-Clock

CT Law of the Land

SC19090, SC19091 - FairwindCT, Inc. v. Connecticut Siting Council - This decision upheld the Siting Council’s authorization to a Pullman & Comley client to install wind turbine electrical generation facilities in...more

9/19/2014 - Energy Energy Policy Renewable Energy Utilities Sector Wind Power

A Strange Case of Sexual Harassment

In a lawsuit currently pending in the Superior Court, an employee is accusing her supervisor of...more

9/15/2014 - Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Sexual Harassment

State Law Can Override Control Test for Employment

Past articles in this blog have discussed the control test for establishing an employment relationship as opposed to independent contractor status. Although government agencies such as the Department of Labor or IRS describe...more

9/5/2014 - Classification Conflicts of Laws DOL Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues Home Healthcare Workers Independent Contractors IRS Medicaid Right to Control

Could Non-Compete Agreements Be Banned in Connecticut?

Many employers believe that non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, can be an important tool in protecting confidential information, trade secrets, and other legitimate business interests. They allow...more

8/14/2014 - Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants

What Is The Interactive Process?

The interactive process is a crucial step for an employer in dealing with an employee’s request for accommodation of a disability. Failure to conduct and document the interactive process can result in liability under the...more

7/30/2014 - ADA Disability Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Reasonable Accommodation

What Does the Unemployment Rate Actually Tell Us?

The percentage rate of unemployment, known as the “official unemployment rate,” is the ratio of those who are unemployed compared to those in the civilian labor force. Those in the labor force are defined as persons who were...more

7/11/2014 - DOL Unemployment

CT Law of the Land

AC35796 - Michos v. Planning & Zoning Commission - This decision held that the Town of Easton P&Z Commission violated its own regulations when it approved a house of worship with 80% of the parking in front of the...more

7/10/2014 - Religious Institutions RLUIPA Setback Rules

How Important is Attendance at Work?

The answer seems obvious. The employer must decide what hours of work are best for producing its products or serving its customers, and employees must maintain regular and reliable attendance during those hours. In fact,...more

6/24/2014 - Attendance Disability Disability Discrimination Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Reasonable Accommodation

Some Little-Known Leave of Absence Requirements

Connecticut employers are generally familiar with the chief leave of absence requirements, such as family and medical leave (starting with employers of 50 or more employees who are covered by federal FMLA) or leave for...more

6/18/2014 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA Leave of Absence Medical Leave Military Service Members

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