Employment Law Perspectives

Murtha At Work: Insights for Employers

State senators voted early this morning to raise Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage to $15.00 by June 1, 2023 in a plan that involves five annual increases. House Bill 5004, “An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage,” was proposed to provide more economic security to Connecticut families by increasing the minimum fair wage. …
In a case of first impression, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has found that, under Massachusetts law, retail and inside sales employees, paid entirely on a commission or draw basis, are entitled to separate and additional pay for overtime hours worked and premium pay for work on Sundays. See Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, No. SJC-12542 (Mass. May 8, 2019).…
Effective May 10, 2020, New York City’s Human Rights Law will prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to submit to a marijuana or THC drug test as a condition of employment, with some limited exceptions. The NYC law is the first to ban pre-employment testing, but likely not the last in light of increasing momentum to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. …
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again.  Zero-tolerance policies are a bad idea when addressing sexual harassment complaints.  In fact, they shouldn’t even apply to complaints about discrimination or workplace infractions.  Although zero-tolerance policies convey the impression that an employer is taking a hard line stand against conduct it wants to discourage or eliminate, the reality is a little more complicated, just like the workplace.…
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released data detailing breakdowns for the charges of workplace discrimination it received in 2018. Sexual harassment charges increased 13.6% from 2017 – making sexual harassment the second most frequent charge filed with the EEOC.  Overall, the agency received 7,609 sexual harassment charges and obtained $56.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment.…
As we previously reported here, the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” expanded the reach of the New York City Human Rights Law in the area of gender-based discrimination, including harassment.  Among other things, as of April 1, 2019, the law mandates employers with 15 or more employees (which includes independent contractors) in the previous calendar year to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training to all employees, including managers and supervisors.  The law requires employers…
At long last, the federal Department of Labor has issued its widely anticipated second proposal to raise the minimum salary threshold for employees to qualify for various white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Following a failed attempt by the Obama-era DOL to set a salary threshold of $47,476, the DOL is setting its sights lower this time around with a proposed $35,308 salary threshold.…
A reminder to Connecticut employers: generally speaking, questions about an applicant’s salary history are prohibited as of January 1, 2019. As I detailed in an earlier post, Connecticut has joined the growing number of states restricting what employers may ask applicants about salary history. While salary history inquiries are now generally prohibited, there are two important exceptions that are discussed in my earlier blog post. I encourage Connecticut employers to review employment applications…
On October 17, 2018, the New York City Council passed several bills, referred to as a parental empowerment package, which will likely be signed by the mayor. These bills require employers with 15 or more employees to provide a “lactation space” and “lactation accommodation” for employees who need to express and store breast milk.  Specifically, employers will be required to designate a private sanitary place that is not a restroom for purposes of expressing milk.…