Employment Law Articles

Fire the Parent; Get Sued by the Kids

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            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 Education.

Navigating Connecticut's Drug Testing Laws

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            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. §§ 31-51x and 31-51u.  Similar testing protocols apply to prospective employees, however, reasonable suspicion is not needed to test job candidates.  31-51v.

Connecticut Employees Gain Broader Free Speech Rights

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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.

Connecticut Expands Employee Pay, Online Privacy, and Intern Protections

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            During the recent legislative session, Connecticut laws were changed to expand employee rights in several key areas. Employers who fail to properly pay all wages owed will now be automatically liable for double damages, unless they can show a good faith basis for the failure to pay. In addition, employers may no longer deny employees the right to discuss their wage rates with co-workers. Employers will also be prohibited from asking employees for passwords to their social media accounts, and unpaid interns gained new protections under the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Don't Let Workplace Bullies Cause You a Black Eye

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            Workplace bullying may be lawful, but it is bad for business. In a 2012 survey by CareerBuilder, about one third of all employees reported being bullied at work. About seventeen percent of those bullied quit their jobs, while a similar percentage reported health problems related to the bullying behavior. Employers pay a direct cost for such behavior in turnover and increased medical premiums. In addition, plaintiff attorneys are studying new strategies to bring suits against companies who continue to tolerate abusive behavior. Given the conduct employees must often contend with, it is easy to see why. 


 

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