Employment Law Letter

Your source for timely updates in Labor and Employment Law

Once again, the Trump-era National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has overruled a previous Obama-era Labor Board decision, establishing an objective test for determining whether statements made by an employee constitutes protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act. The case, Alstate Maintenance, LLC and Greenidge, 367 NLRB No. 68 (2019), came before the Labor Board after an employee of Alstate, a skycap at JFK International Airport, was terminated when he refused to perform work based…
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed an earlier Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and held that courts may not decide a question of arbitrability when parties have contractually delegated that question to an arbitrator. Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc., No. 17-1272 (U.S. January 8, 2019). While on its face it looks like the matter is settled, this decision left several open questions on remand.  In effect, the Court…
The IRS recently released two notices to provide guidance for tax-exempt organizations about how to comply with the new provision that they treat employer-provided parking and qualified transportation fringe benefits as unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). This unprecedented treatment of expenses as income created substantial uncertainty about how to calculate the UBTI from the parking benefits and how to address the passing of estimated tax payment deadlines. Notice 2018-99 provides guidance on calculating UBTI from…
As a reminder to Connecticut employers, legislation amending Connecticut’s Pay Equity law that was signed by Governor Malloy this past May becomes effective on January 1, 2019. The new amendment to the Pay Equity law prohibits employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history unless otherwise required to do so by state or federal law. An employer will not be in violation of the law if a prospective employee voluntarily discloses their…
Unions have been actively organizing graduate students, while wanting to avoid having the National Labor Relations Board involved. They are particularly concerned that President Trump’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, who are now a majority of the Board members, will revisit and reverse the Columbia University decision. That decision determined that graduate students were employees and could organize and bargain collectively. Already, the University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago have refused to…
Shipman & Goodwin attorney Leander A. Dolphin will participate in the panel discussion “#Metoo: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Professional Workplace” hosted by the University of Saint Joseph. When: November 26, 2018, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM EST Where: University of Saint Joseph West Hartford Campus, Crystal Room For more information, please click here.…
This complimentary CLE webinar will offer a review of legal best practices for employers, in situations where mental health issues may be present in their workplaces. Presenters will discuss when, and how, to engage in interactive dialogues with employees, to determine if a qualifying disability exists and whether reasonable accommodations are available, and how to balance workplace safety issues and concerns of coworkers against the rights of employees who may have qualifying disabilities, in accordance…
If you work in the Human Resources field you almost certainly understand the basic obligations employers must deal with under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Most often the issue you face involves analysis of the essential functions of an employee’s job and consideration of reasonable accommodations to permit the employee to perform those functions. The next time you undertake this analysis you may find it helpful to review a now long-standing guidance that the…
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities just released their annual statistics. For employers, understanding the trend lines represents an opportunity to focus on areas of compliance.  You can download the statistics here. Here are three key takeaways: Employment Discrimination Claims Rise. With unemployment relatively low, the prevailing wisdom among employment lawyers has always been that the number of lawsuits against employers will also be low. However, year-over-year claims filed with the CHRO are…