New Connecticut law makes wage infractions more dangerous

September 24, 2015 0 COMMENTS

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 Tennessee wrongful discharge law favorable to employers

June 19, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by David Johnson

A new Tennessee law going into effect on July 1 puts a cap on damages employees can collect in wrongful termination claims.

Public Chapter 995 affects the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA), the Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA), and the Tennessee Disability Act (TDA). The new law imposes a cap on compensatory damages aggrieved employees can recover under all three statutes for future monetary losses, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonmonetary losses.

The caps depend on the number of employees an employer has. The caps range from $25,000 for employers with eight to 15 employees to $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees. The caps don’t apply to back pay, interest on back pay, front pay, or equitable relief.

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Tennessee legislation will amend THRA, TPPA

May 13, 2014 1 COMMENTS

by David L. Johnson

On May 13, the Tennessee General Assembly passed House Bill 1954/Senate Bill 2126, which will significantly amend the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA) in a manner favorable to employers. Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign the bill later this month. Once signed, it will take effect on July 1, 2014.

The legislation imposes a cap on compensatory damages an aggrieved employee may recover for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses under both the THRA and the TPPA.

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