Employment Law Articles

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.

Connecticut Law Clarifies Medical Continuation Rights Following Termination

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            Effective October 1, 2009, a new law provides guidance on employer and employee rights regarding the continuation of medical coverage following termination of employment. (P.A. 09-126). Under the new law, employers must continue to cover employees and pay its portion of the premium for 72 hours following the employee’s termination. “Employment termination” is defined as a voluntary quit, or a discharge for any reason other than layoff.

Domestic Violence Victims Gain Greater Protection

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            In an important recent ruling the Connecticut Superior Court held that employers cannot terminate “at-will” employees simply because they are victims of domestic violence. Gillies v. Stonington Free Library.

Making Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants Enforceable

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            Contrary to the popular belief of many, non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants are enforceable, when properly drafted. Non-compete agreements typically prevent an employee from competing with their employer during the term of employment and for some period following termination. The agreement must be narrowly tailored to protect legitimate business interests, for a reasonable duration, within a reasonable geographic scope. It must also not unfairly restrain an employee’s opportunity to work in his occupation. These factors will differ significantly based on the employer’s business and the employee’s duties. For instance, courts have found that a single hair salon may enforce a non-compete that prevents its stylists from providing similar services within a 10 mile radius for one year following termination.


 

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