New Connecticut law makes wage infractions more dangerous

by John Herrington

A new Connecticut law taking effect October 1 requires courts to award double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees for most employee wage claims.

Under the new law—Public Act 15-86, the “Act Concerning an Employer’s Failure to Pay Wages”—a court must award, as a baseline default, double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees if it finds that an employer has (1) failed to pay an employee’s wages, accrued fringe benefits, or arbitration award or (2) failed to meet the law’s requirements for an employee’s minimum wage or overtime rates.

Before the new law, which applies to all Connecticut employers, courts consistently held that awards for double damages and attorneys’ fees required the employee to establish facts sufficient to support a finding of bad faith, arbitrariness, or unreasonableness by the employer. Under the new law, that burden shifts from employees to employers.

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New Connecticut law protects interns from discrimination, harassment

by Ashley Harrison Sakakeeny

Employers in Connecticut should update their antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies to cover unpaid interns as a new state law becomes effective October 1.

The new law, Public Act 15-56, prohibits discrimination and harassment against interns much like current laws protect employees. It prohibits discrimination based on an intern’s race, color, age, and other protected characteristics. Also, the law makes it illegal to retaliate against an intern for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment. It permits interns to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and, ultimately, in Connecticut superior court.

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Connecticut employers need to be ready for new social media law

by John Herrington

Connecticut employers need to prepare for a new law taking effect October 1 limiting how they can access social media accounts belonging to employees and applicants.

The new law prohibits an employer from:

  • Requesting or requiring employees or applicants to provide a username, password, or any other authentication means for accessing a personal online account;
  • Requesting or requiring employees or applicants to authenticate or access a personal online account in the presence of the employer;
  • Requiring employees or applicants to invite the employer or to accept an invitation from the employer to join a group affiliated with a personal online account;
  • Discharging, disciplining, discriminating against, retaliating against, or otherwise penalizing employees who refuse to provide the means to access a personal online account; or
  • Failing or refusing to hire applicants based on their refusal to provide access to a personal online account.

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Obama takes steps toward requiring paid sick leave

January 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Is it a sensible plan to boost productivity and give workers the help they deserve, or is it an unaffordable, unfair mandate on already overburdened employers? President Barack Obama’s announcement of a push to pass a paid sick leave law is likely to garner both reactions.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, launched the effort January 14 with a post on the career-centered social network LinkedIn, a venue chosen because of its high profile with employers.

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Connecticut’s minimum wage will jump to $10.10 per hour in 2017

by Jonathan C. Sterling

On March 27, Governor Dannel Malloy signed a law that will increase Connecticut’s minimum wage in each of the next three years. The minimum wage will rise to $10.10 per hour in 2017.

You may remember that just last year, a law was passed to increase the minimum wage to $8.70 beginning January 1, 2014. The 2013 law also increased the minimum wage to $9 per hour beginning January 1, 2015.

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Categories: Connecticut / Minimum Wage


Medical marijuana law takes effect in Connecticut Oct. 1

by Jonathan C. Sterling

As of October 1, Connecticut employers need to make sure they’re in compliance with the state’s new medical marijuana law.

Under the law, employers of one or more employees are prohibited from refusing to hire, discharging, penalizing, or threatening an employee solely on the basis of his status as a “qualifying patient” or “primary caregiver” under the medical marijuana law.

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Connecticut Releases Guidance on State’s Paid Sick Leave Law

December 20, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

by Jonathan C. Sterling

Earlier this year, Connecticut became the first state to enact a law that requires employers to provide paid sick leave for employees. The law takes effect January 1, and the Connecticut Department of Labor recently published guidance on its website to assist employers in complying with the new law. Read the release from CDOL

Which employers are covered?
Generally, the new law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to their “service workers,” up to a maximum of 40 hours of leave per year. Under the law, service workers accrue the leave at a rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Service workers hired after January 1 can begin using accrued paid sick leave once they complete 680 hours of employment after their date of hire. Service workers employed before January 1 can begin using accrued paid sick leave once they complete 680 hours of employment after January 1.

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Categories: Connecticut

Connecticut Restricts Using Credit Scores in Hiring

September 26, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

By John Herrington

On October 1, Connecticut becomes the most recent state to limit employers’ use of credit histories in employment decisions. The state joins Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington in making restrictions.

The new law – Public Act No. 11-223 – prohibits any Connecticut employer with more than one employee from requiring “an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee’s or prospective employee’s credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment.”

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Categories: Connecticut / HR Hero Alerts


IRS Offering Employers Break on Misclassification

September 22, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Employers worried that they may have misclassified independent contractors may find relief in a new program from the IRS.

The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) was announced September 21 and offers employers the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit.

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NLRB Backs Employee’s Right to Bad-Mouth Supervisor on Facebook

November 05, 2010 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

by Jonathan Sterling and James Goodfellow

An employer’s blogging and social networking policy that prohibits employees from posting disparaging comments online about coworkers or their employer has been deemed unlawful by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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