Photo of Sarah A. Westby

Sarah is the Chair of Shipman’s Cannabis Industry Team and a Partner in our Employment and Labor Practice Group. She advises clients on formation and management of a cannabis business, interpretation of state and federal cannabis laws and regulations, social equity qualifications and partnerships, business-related disputes, employment matters and contracts. Sarah also counsels clients on a wide variety of employment matters, including discrimination, medical leave, sexual harassment, compensation, termination, severance, and workplace safety.  She has significant experience litigating cases in state and federal court and before administrative agencies.  Sarah also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Simply Smiles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that builds villages of foster homes for Native children in the United States and Mexico.

FTC Issues Anticipated Rule Barring Non-Compete Agreements

On Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Trade Commission issued a final rule largely banning non-compete agreements for employees. The rule is intended to go into effect in around four months but will likely be the subject of multiple legal challenges.  

The rule is short in its nature. 

It defines

As the cannabis industry grows both locally and nationally, labor organizers have increasingly targeted the field for unionization. While Connecticut is one of the earlier states to legalize cannabis, Connecticut only recently joined the ranks of states with unionized cannabis workers. As a result, Connecticut-based cannabis companies arguably enjoy some benefit from having the opportunity

Businesses entering the provisional license stage in Connecticut’s nascent adult-use cannabis market are beginning to grapple with labor and employment issues.  In addition to hiring a workforce, prospective cannabis businesses must also consider the role of organized labor.  The Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act (the “Cannabis Act”) contains specific requirements for cannabis businesses pertaining

This week the United States Supreme Court held that highly compensated employees are not exempt from overtime requirements unless they are paid on a salary basis.  In other words, employers cannot avoid paying overtime to employees simply because they earn a high hourly or daily rate.  Rather, employers must provide employees with a reliable, predetermined compensation regardless

The year is 2015.  An employee, employer, and local union enter into a last chance agreement that forbids the employee’s use of controlled substances.  If the employee violates the agreement, he may be subject to immediate termination.  Subsequently, the claimant begins using medical marijuana in compliance with the terms of the Palliative Use of Marijuana

On August 5, 2022, the third edition of the Department of Consumer Protection’s (DCP) policies and procedures concerning the regulation of adult-use cannabis became effective. The regulations are extensive and cover everything from security procedures, to testing, to transportation.  We have summarized some of the key features of the regulations that cannabis businesses need to

A friendly reminder to employers that provisions of Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis statute concerning the use of cannabis in the workplace go into effect on July 1, 2022.  We published a detailed article about what the cannabis statute means for employers last year.  With the effective date of those provisions quickly approaching, now is the perfect

On June 2, 2022, the Second Circuit held that individuals could sue their employers for gender discrimination under Title IX, resolving a prior split of authority among the lower courts.  The lawsuit was brought against Cornell University by a male faculty member claiming that Cornell discriminated against him in violation of Title IX, Title VI,

We invite you to join us as we discuss the provisions of Connecticut’s new adult-use cannabis law relevant to employers, including: what is allowed, what employers can prohibit, when can employers test for marijuana, and what disciplinary action employers can take against employees. Speakers will identify difficult situations employers may confront with the legalization of

Over the past year, we have all experienced many employment law changes related to COVID-19 and vaccines, workplace accommodations, FMLA, recreational marijuana, legislative updates and more. We invite you to tune in as we recap the hottest workplace topics of 2021 and provide a 2022 roadmap for what employers can expect in the coming year.