Wage and Hour Issue Articles

Connecticut Child Labor Laws

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Employment of Minors Generally

            Connecticut law allows minors under the age of 18, who have graduated from high school, to work in any occupation during the same hours as adults; however, such minors are not exempt from federal employment prohibitions. Therefore, employers who are covered by both state and federal law regulating the employment of minors must comply with the more stringent provisions of the two sets of law.

Performing Work at Home Does Not Convert Commute into Paid Time

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           Millions of employees now use laptops and PDAs, such as IPhones and Blackberries, to perform their work. They often check their devices before leaving for work in the morning and after returning home in the evening. A recent case involved whether, under the “continuous workday rule,” employees using electronic devices at home were entitled to be paid for the time spent commuting to and from the office because they worked prior to and after their commute.

Miami-Dade County Enacts Wage Theft Ordinance

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            Miami-Dade became the first county in the nation to adopt a countywide wage theft law. The ordinance, effective on March 1, 2010, applies to private sector employers, prohibits wage theft, and provides administrative procedures and private causes of action. An employer found to be in violation of the ordinance will be required to pay the actual administrative processing and hearing costs as well as restitution to the employee, which would include back wages owed as well as liquidated damages of double that amount, and possibly treble damages.

Rules Governing Unpaid Internships

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            With the poor economy employers are seeing more adults willing to take unpaid internships to get their foot in the door. Questions often arise whether it is legal to hire them without pay.

Some Bonuses Not Subject to Connecticut Wage Payment Laws

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            In a case of first impression, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that some bonuses are not subject to the Connecticut Wage Payment laws, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-71a et seq. Weems v. Citigroup, 289 Conn. 769 (2008). Under Connecticut law an employee may bring a civil action for the non-payment of wages or benefits. If they can prove the employer acted in bad faith they may collect double damages, costs, and attorneys fees. Employers who violate the law are also subject to fines and imprisonment.


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