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What Is the Extent of an Employer’s Liability For the Acts of an Employee?

An employer can be liable for injury done by an employee to a third party under the doctrine known as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability can arise when the employee’s activity that caused the injury was done 1) on the...more

Workers Comp Continues To Be Exclusive Remedy for Workplace Injuries

Workers compensation laws are among the oldest protective labor statutes, dating back to the early 1900’s. Workers compensation embodies a simple tradeoff: employees may not bring personal injury lawsuits against their...more

The Same Actor Defense Requires the Same Stage

Employment defense lawyers are fond of the “same actor” defense to discrimination claims because it combines legal theory and common sense. The same actor inference can be used in cases based on claims of discrimination on...more

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,...more

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...more

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,...more

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...more

An Example of the Interplay Between State and Federal FMLA

Any Connecticut employer with more than 50 employees is subject to both the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts. The key provisions of the two laws are nearly identical, with one significant exception: the...more

Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone...more

Differences in Public Policy Can Affect Claims of Wrongful Discharge

Most jurisdictions, including Connecticut, recognize a tort of “wrongful discharge” as an exception to the principle of employment at will. Although employment at will generally allows either the employer or the employee to...more

Supreme Court Reaffirms Workers Compensation Exclusivity

Workers compensation has been described as a bargain in which an employee who has suffered a workplace injury relinquishes potentially large common-law tort damages in exchange for relatively quick and certain compensation...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms the Right of an Employer to Determine When Commissions Are Paid

As a general proposition, under Connecticut law an employer has the right to determine the wage that will be paid for work performed by an employee, subject to basic requirements such as minimum wage or overtime. For wages...more

There Are Limits to Connecticut’s Employee Free Speech Law

It has long been recognized as a matter of federal constitutional law that public employees cannot be deprived by the government of their right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment, even though the government...more

What Is Termination For Cause?

“At-will” employment is an established legal principle in Connecticut. Most non-unionized Connecticut employers publish a statement to employees, either in an employee handbook or employment application materials or both,...more

Measuring FMLA Leave Entitlement

Employers with 75 or more employees are subject to both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act. The two laws are similar in many respects; the most significant difference...more

Travel Time Is Paid Time, Sometimes

Employment typically requires an employee to commute from home to work, and home again at the end of the workday. Department of Labor regulations interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act recognize that the typical morning...more

The Proper Response When an Employer Learns That an Absence Might Be Protected By FMLA

Regulations enforcing the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts (note: FMLA is applicable to employers with at least 50 employees) require an employee to give 30 days’ advance notice when the need for leave is...more

4/22/2016  /  FMLA , Medical Leave

Employers Have Flexibility in Applying the Professional Exemption

The basic premise of the Fair Labor Standards Act with regard to overtime pay is that all employees are to be paid overtime unless they qualify for an exemption. Among the exemptions are the three categories known as “white...more

The Connecticut Supreme Court Gets an “A”

There are several facets to the question of whether a person who provides services to a business is an employee or an independent contractor. This classification issue affects whether tax withholding is applied to...more

Another Loss for the Claim That College Athletes Are Employees

Last year the National Labor Relations Board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to consider a petition by undergraduate football players at Northwestern University for recognition of a union and collective bargaining...more

The Return of “Mental-Mental:” Will Workers Compensation Again Be Extended to Cover Emotional Trauma?

As my partner Mark Sommaruga observed in a recent post, the current term of the General Assembly may consider extending workers compensation coverage to employees who suffer purely emotional trauma, without a causative...more

Risks In Being A Joint Employer

Joint employment of one worker by two businesses can create risks of liability for both employers in a variety of ways. Both businesses may be liable, for example, on claims for employment discrimination and/or violations of...more

Must An Employer Tolerate Truly Obnoxious Employee Speech That Is Not Job-Related?

There is a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University School of Communications and Multi-Media Studies who has gained notoriety because of his public statements, including a blog, which claim that virtually every mass...more

A New Challenge to Anti-Nepotism Rules Based on Marital Status Discrimination

In a newly filed lawsuit that has garnered some publicity, a Shelton high school teacher is suing the Shelton Public Schools over the imposition of an anti-nepotism rule which she claims constitutes marital status...more

National Labor Relations Board Continues to Limit Handbook Rules

The National Labor Relations Board has been increasingly active in reviewing rules for employee conduct described in personnel policy manuals and handbooks. The NLRB focuses on Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act,...more

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