Employment Law Articles

Connecticut Negligent Hiring Claims

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            The Connecticut Supreme Court has long recognized the common-law claim of negligent hiring. Shore v. Stonington, 187 Conn. 147, 155 (1982); Stiebitz v. Mahoney, 144 Conn. 443 (1957). Negligent hiring extends to any situation where a third party is injured by an employer’s negligence in failing to select an employee fit or competent to perform the services of employment. To prevail, the injured party must prove that the employer knew or should have known that the employee had a propensity to engage in the alleged conduct, and that he was reasonably likely to engage in such conduct. In such instances, the employer’s liability is not vicarious, but direct and personal.

HR Professionals Required to Have Strong Social Media Skills

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            According to a recent survey conducted by WANTED Technologies and published in SHRM’s HR Trendbook 2012, more than 1000 new ads for HR positions listed in 2011 included requirements for advanced social media skills. This represented a 160% increase from the same period in 2010. More specifically, hiring firms wanted HR staff to be able to develop recruiting strategies that effectively use the Internet and social media sites. Companies expect HR to stay abreast of new and innovative sourcing techniques, best practices, and know how to use web searches, apps, and job boards to generate leads. Simply knowing how to tweet job openings, or scour LinkedIn or Facebook to find talent, is no longer enough.

Employee Dissatisfaction at All Time High

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             A recent report by Gallup showed that people of all ages and income levels are increasingly unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations, and detached from what they do. Gallup estimates this “disengagement” costs business about $300 billion per year in lost productivity. In a separate report from Right Management, a human resource consulting group, 84 percent of current employees plan to look for a new job in 2012. The results compare to a 2009 finding in which 60 percent of employees stated they intended to seek new employment.

Connecticut Severely Restricts Employers Use of Credit Reports

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            Effective October 1, 2011, all employers with at least one employee may no longer require 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 unless (1) such employer is a financial institution, (2) such report is required by law, (3) the employer reasonably believes that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to the employee’s employment, or (4) such report is “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job,” or the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job-related and is disclosed in writing to the employee or applicant.

Nursing Mothers Entitled to Lactation and Breastfeeding Breaks

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            Effective March 23, 2010, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and granted nursing mothers the right to “reasonable” unpaid work breaks to express breast milk.


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