Connecticut Labor and Employment Law Journal

Connecticut Labor and Employment Law Journal

Category Archives: Wage & Hour

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Increased Salary Threshold for Overtime Exemptions Struck Down By Federal Judge

Posted in U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour
In a victory for employers in Connecticut and across the country, a federal district court in Texas last week invalidated the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor overtime regulation which sought to increase the salary threshold for the overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week… Continue Reading

Reminder – Connecticut Minimum Wage Rises to $10.10 on January 1

Posted in Wage & Hour
Connecticut employers must begin paying $10.10 per hour to their employees on January 1, 2017.  For hotel and restaurant employees who normally receive sufficient gratuities, the employer must pay at least $6.38 per hour ($8.23 for bartenders) under the new minimum wage, but the employee must still make at least $10.10 per hour including tips… Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court: Unpaid volunteers not employees for purposes of State’s employment anti-discrimination laws

Posted in Wage & Hour
In a recently released decision, CHRO v. Echo Hose Ambulance, et al, a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s dismissal of the CHRO’s appeal of a human rights referee’s determination that a volunteer was not an employee for purposes of Connecticut Fair Employment Practice Act, Conn, Gen. Stat. §461-60, et seq. (“CFEPA”) The issue… Continue Reading

Major Overtime Rule Change Effective December 1 – What You Need To Know To Prepare Now

Posted in Wage & Hour
The U.S. Department of Labor just issued its final rule, requiring minimum wage and overtime for some employees who are currently “exempt” from these requirements. Employers need to plan ahead for implementation, as the rule change could lead to seismic shifts in some payrolls. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employees receive… Continue Reading

Two Significant Changes to Law Surrounding Internships

Posted in Employer Policies, Wage & Hour
Connecticut employers need to be aware of two significant changes in the law surrounding internships. The first is a new state statute including unpaid interns in the protections afforded to employees with respect to discrimination and harassment. Employers should update their handbooks and training materials to ensure that interns receive the same protections as employees… Continue Reading

New Connecticut Law is Double Trouble for Employers

Posted in Employer Policies, Wage & Hour
Wage violations are about to get more costly for Connecticut employers.  A new statute, effective October 1, 2015, requires courts to award double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees if an employer has failed to pay an employee’s wages (including minimum wage and overtime owed), accrued fringe benefits, or arbitration award.  The new law… Continue Reading

Snow Days Come With Employer Obligations – Are You Prepared?

Posted in Employer Policies, Wage & Hour
For employers, preparing for winter weather includes ensuring all employees are paid properly on snow days.  Many employers are surprised to learn that their payroll does not take a snow day when their employees do.  While snow days are probably the most common application of the principles discussed in this article, these rules apply to… Continue Reading

Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed – Why Your Bi-Weekly Payroll is Probably Illegal . . . and How to Fix It

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
This is Part 1 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed. Do you pay your employees at least weekly?  If you answered no, you are in good company.  Bi-weekly pay (paying employees every two weeks) is probably the most common choice of pay frequency.  However, a quirky feature of Connecticut’s… Continue Reading

Keep Your Unpaid Intern Away From the Photocopier!

Posted in Wage & Hour
As summer approaches, many companies are beginning to hire students to work as unpaid interns.  While unpaid internships are a time-honored tradition, they are almost always illegal in the for-profit world.  Typically, the so-called “intern” is actually an employee who must be paid minimum wage and, if applicable, overtime.  Depending on state law, Workers’ Compensation… Continue Reading

Senate Republicans Filibuster Minimum Wage Bill

Posted in Wage & Hour
The Obama Administration’s goal of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 has for the moment stalled in the Senate.   A Republican led filibuster has all but killed the President’s hopes of signing the Bill, which would increase the minimum wage by the November mid-term elections. Senate Republicans, citing concerns about the effects that an increase… Continue Reading

Labor Law Posters – The Perils of Too Few or Too Many

Posted in Employee Benefits, Employer Policies, Wage & Hour
Every employer in the United States must post at least some labor law notices.  Many state and federal employment laws come with such a requirement.  While different posters are needed for different situations (for example, based on the employer’s size or industry), no employer is exempt from posting at all.  It may be obvious that… Continue Reading

Dept. Of Labor Settlement Highlights Importance of Proper Wage and Hour Policies

Posted in Wage & Hour
Seven (7) Long Island restaurants have consented to a settlement with the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) that includes $1.6 million in back pay as well as over $110,000 in penalties and interest for willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Specifically, the DOL found the restaurants failed to pay employees a… Continue Reading

Obama and Labor Secretary are working to Overhaul Overtime Rules for Exempt Employees

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
A recent speech by Labor Secretary Thomas Perez at the IAFF conference provided some details about the changes to the managerial exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Significantly, Secretary Perez reiterated that the current salary threshold of $455 is inadequate and that the primary duties test creates an employer friendly “loophole” that is… Continue Reading

UPDATE – COLLEGE ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
As is well known, a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, with approval from the Board’s General Counsel in Washington, ruled that grant-in-aid football players of a private university were “employees”, even though they do not receive traditional paychecks. Accordingly, they are eligible for unionization. The Board reasoned that these “employees” are recruited… Continue Reading

COLLEGE ATHLETES ARE EMPLOYEES

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
In a revolutionary development, a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that college football players at Northwestern University who receive scholarships are employees rather than students, and can therefore unionize. Apparently, a new union, the College Athletes Players Association, has signed up a number of “employees” already. If 30% of the… Continue Reading

Improper Employer Investigations Can Prove Costly

Posted in Employer Policies, Wage & Hour
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the issues that arise when employer investigations produce false information and/or confessions.  Usually, these situations occur because the person conducting the investigation is employing a technique that is not tailored to the work environment or is using a best practice that is outdated due to changes… Continue Reading

Board Abandons Well Established Precedent – Holds that Employers Can No Longer Cease Deducting Union Dues Upon Contract Expiration

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
Since 1962, employers with a dues checkoff provision in a collective bargaining agreement have been permitted to cease deducting dues from employee paychecks and remitting them to the union upon contract expiration.  As of last month, however, employers can no longer relieve themselves of the burden of collecting and remitting dues upon contract expiration.  In… Continue Reading

Accounting for the Value of Employer-Provided Lodging

Posted in Wage & Hour
While both the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Connecticut law permit an employer to include the reasonable value/cost of lodging provided to an employee as part of such employee’s wages towards the minimum wage, employers need to pay close attention to the differences between federal and state law.  Under the FLSA, an employer may… Continue Reading

Employers Required to Display Paid Sick Leave Notice Poster in English and Spanish

Posted in Employee Benefits, Wage & Hour
As discussed in our previous posts, here and here, Connecticut’s new paid sick leave law went into effect on January 1, 2012.  Among its many requirements is an obligation for employers to provide adequate notice of the law to employees.  Most employers likely satisfy this requirement by displaying the notice poster created by the Department… Continue Reading
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