Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Almost one year ago, the #MeToo Movement took us by storm when men and women across the country began speaking out about their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse. Countless lawsuits have been filed, hundreds of stories have been told, and multiple public figures have been brought down since the #MeToo Movement’s rise on social and public media. In the midst of all of the controversy, many state legislatures and state agencies have taken affirmative steps toward minimizing sexual harassment in the workplace.

For instance, on August 29, 2018, Delaware joined Connecticut and three other states when it adopted a law requiring covered employers to train their employees in sexual harassment prevention. Basically, the law introduces a mandate on employers with 50 or more employees to train all employees–supervisors or not–in sexual harassment prevention. The law institutes broad protections, and lumps in unpaid interns, applicants, and apprentices into the definition of an “employee.” In addition, the new legislation obligates employers with four or more employees to issue an information sheet on sexual harassment prevention to their employees. The law will become effective on January 9, 2018.

New York has also beefed up its protections against sexual harassment. Effective October 9, 2018, New York employers will all be required to adopt a policy against sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers have two options: they can (1) adopt a model policy issued by the state or (2) adopt their own policy that either meets or exceeds the standards set forth in the model policy. Recently, the New York State Division of Human Rights, a state agency that enforces the state’s discrimination laws, issued draft guidance on mandatory sexual harassment prevention policies and training to assist employers in their compliance with the new law.…

Sometimes things that should be simple just have to be complicated! This is true for Family and Medical Leave Act matters when a seemingly straightforward situation throws a curveball because an employee tells you she “does not want FMLA leave… I want to save my time for another occasion….” Believe it or not, this can…

At the same time the Legislature made medicinal marijuana legal in Connecticut, it also passed a statute that addressed the use of medicinal marijuana by employees.  That statute, § 21a-408p, provides that:

  • No employer may refuse to hire or may discharge, penalize, or threaten an employee solely on the basis of their palliative use

On June 27, we issued an alert concerning the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME (June 27, 2018). There, the Court held that mandatory agency fees (also sometimes known as service fees) for public employees violate the First Amendment rights of the affected employees. We wish now to follow up…

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court today ruled that provisions requiring public employees to pay agency fees violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In doing so, the Supreme Court expressly overruled its own 41-year-old precedent.

This closely watched case arose from a challenge by an Illinois public employee to the…

Most times on this blog, we report on developments in courts or in the legislature.

But today’s post focuses on something that didn’t happen — namely a bill that didn’t pass — even though it looked almost certain earlier this week.

Indeed, Senate Bill 132 looked to have momentum.

In this political and legal…

Over the weekend, the General Assembly approved a bill prohibiting employers, including the state and its political subdivisions, from asking, or directing a third-party to ask, about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history.

The measure now moves to the Governor’s office for his signature.

The prohibition does not apply in two situations:

  • if the

In speaking to job applicants, interviewers need to be circumspect in what they say. There are questions that can be asked, and there are questions that can create real headaches, as well as liability. A recent case demonstrates how comments in an interview ended up in federal court litigation.

A University hired a woman to…

On occasion, many businesses provide unpaid internship opportunities. However, it is important to be sure the unpaid internship does not run afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as some companies have learned the hard way that rather than having an unpaid intern they had an “employee” and ended up with wage and hour liability.…

If an employee is an at-will employee, he or she is not entitled to any explanation about the reason for the termination.  Nevertheless, when terminating an employee, most employers sensibly provide the employee with a reason for the termination. In any subsequent litigation, the employer will be required to explain the legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for…