In This Issue
Getting Sued by the Kids
Managers Face Greater Personal Liability
Employee Free Speech Rights
NLRB Expands Permissible Behavior
CT Drug Testing Laws




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  Summer 2016


As summer approaches, some recent rulings have made managing employees more challenging as individual managers now face greater exposure to personal suit under the FMLA and CFEPA.  In addition, the Connecticut Superior Court held that the minor children of fired employees can now sue the company that terminated their parent under certain circumstances.

Also, the Connecticut Supreme Court found that employees who speak out about serious workplace concerns have broadened protections under the state Constitution when doing so.  The ruling gives Connecticut employees the broadest free speech rights in the nation.

Further, the NLRB continues expanding the scope of permissible non-union employee behavior, including greater rights to record workplace interactions.  Conduct that would have met with termination in the past is now routinely upheld as lawful.

Despite these developments, employers gained some ground in their right to drug test employees, absent reasonable suspicion, provided they use test methods other than urinalysis.  Before doing so, however, employers should weigh potential public policy violations that such testing may trigger.  

Learn more about these issues in this edition of Workplace News.  

Happy reading!


Fire the Parent; Get Sued by the Kids
The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled that under certain circumstances children can bring claims against negligent parties, including employers, whose actions deprive the children of parental consortium. Campos v Coleman. In doing so, the Court overruled a case it decided differently in 1998, Mendillo V. Board of EducationRead More
Managers Now Face Personal Liability under the FMLA and CFEPA
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Connecticut, found that managers who hold significant authority over a company's administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be held personally liable for violations of the law. Graziadio v. Culinary Inst. Of AmericaRead More
Connecticut Employees Gain Broader Free Speech Rights
The Connecticut Supreme Court recently weighed in on the scope of employee free speech rights in the workplace. Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC. In doing so, it expanded the protections afforded employees when speaking out on matters of public concern, including those related to their job duties. The Court's interpretation will bolster the rights of whistleblowers reporting job related wrongdoing, and better protect employees speaking out on serious job related issues.  Read More
Many non-union employers are becoming increasingly familiar with their obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to widen the definition of permissible employee conduct under the Act. Ostensibly, behavior that most employers would have considered unacceptable several years ago is now routinely found by the NLRB to be proper in today's workplace. Read More
Navigating Connecticut's Drug Testing Laws
Most employers are familiar with Connecticut's drug testing statute that regulates urine-based sampling and analysis. In a nutshell, under the law, an employer who has reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence may send the employee for a urine based test. Before taking any adverse action, including termination, the initial test must be confirmed by a more sensitive second test. Conn. Gen. Stat. ยงยง 31-51x and 31-51u. Similar testing protocols apply to prospective employees, however, reasonable suspicion is not needed to test job candidates. 31-51v.

Employers often ask whether they may use other forms of testing, such as hair, saliva, or blood, and if so, may such tests be conducted without reasonable suspicion? For instance, can they be done on a random basis, or following an on-duty accident?   Read More


Schaffer Law, LLC - 50 Bainton Road - West Hartford, CT.  06117 - Phone: (860) 216-1965 - Fax: (860) 606-9595 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.