Employment Law Articles

It's Good to be King

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            According to the AFL-CIO, chief executives of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $12.3 million in total pay last year, or 355 times more than the $34,645 earned by the typical American worker. In contrast, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, made $302,000 in total compensation, or 8.7 times the average worker. The discrepancy in pay between CEOs and average workers has skyrocketed over the years. In 1980, CEO pay was only 42 times that of the average worker. While the 2012 figure is significant, it is actually lower than the peak year of 2000 when CEOs earned 525 times the amount paid to those working for them.

Complying with the New I-9 Requirements

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            As of May 7, 2013, all employers were required to begin using newly revised I-9 Forms for all new hires, or for employees subject to reverification. The new form, along with applicable instructions, is available here. Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired in the United States. This includes citizens as well as non-citizens. Employers failing to use the new form will be subject to civil penalties.

Non-Competes Unenforceable Unless they Protect Legitimate Business Interests

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           In Creative Dimensions, Inc. v. Laberge, 2012 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1464 (May 31, 2012), the Connecticut Superior Court rejected an employer’s attempt to enforce a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement because the company was unable to prove the agreement was tailored to protect a legitimate business interest. In reaching its decision, the court relied on a five factor test previously articulated by the Connecticut Supreme Court to determine whether restrictive covenants are enforceable.

Drafting At-Will Language Gets More Complicated

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            The Appellate Court of Connecticut recently found an employment contract for a definite period was not subject to the “at-will” doctrine because the grounds for termination were not expressly stated. Cruz v. Visual Perceptions, LLC, 136 Conn. App. 330 (2012).

Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

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            Effective October 1, 2012, Connecticut will become the 17th state in the nation to permit the use of medical marijuana (P.A. No. 12-55).   The new law permits individuals to possess marijuana for palliative purposes to alleviate the symptoms of a debilitating medical condition. Those covered by the Act are also protected against discrimination in employment.


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