Employment Law Letter

Your source for timely updates in Labor and Employment Law

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…
The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to small state and local government employers. In doing so, it shot down arguments made by one Arizona fire district that the law applies only to public entities of 20 or more employees. The law defines employers as a person “engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has twenty or more employees.” But it goes on to state…
There have been two recent developments regarding union organizing efforts on University campuses.  At Northwestern University, a mail ballot election among adjunct faculty took place in July 2016. The Service Employees International Union challenged 25 of those ballots but the challenged ballots were not finally resolved and opened until earlier this month.  Those ballots, which represented approximately 5 percent of the total vote, were sufficient to determine the outcome of the vote.  The Labor Board…
Payroll is an important function for both employers and employees alike, and unfortunately, mistakes can happen during the payroll process.  When an employee is underpaid, they often are quick to bring it to the employer’s attention.  In our experience, though, when the mistake is in the employee’s favor, it often goes unfixed until the employer notices it.  Overpayments can happen in several different ways.  For example, an employee could be paid an hourly wage that…
A recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) memorandum may help employers in finding ways to reduce workplace injuries, workers’ compensation claims, and lost time due to injuries. As outlined in the memorandum, employers will be able to carefully develop and implement safety incentive programs that reward employees for not having any reportable injuries in a specific time period, and will help the employer control or reduce its liability and workers compensation premiums. In addition,…
Download: Printable PDF ADA Accessible Download: Rich Text File Employment Law Letter is published quarterly as a service to clients and friends by the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. Included in this issue: Medical Marijuana Ruling Favors Employees HealthBridge Loses Long Battle with NLRB “Perceived Pregnancy” Is a Protected Status Waterbury Wins Two Kinds of Arbitration Legal Briefs…and Footnotes…
Presumably in response to some well-publicized reports of public employees fired for official misconduct and walking away with generous pension benefits, the Connecticut Legislature passed a decade ago a statute authorizing pension reduction or revocation in such circumstances. Although the law has been utilized in a few situations since then, two recent cases demonstrate that pension rescissions are far from automatic, even where the misconduct is clear. Last week a Superior Court judge decided not…
Does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the “ADEA”) apply to all public employers regardless of how many employees they have, or does it only apply to public employers with at least 20 employees? This is the question that was argued at the Supreme Court on October 1, 2018 in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido. Small public employers now await a ruling that could have major implications on their potential liability under the…