A tuition reimbursement program can be a very attractive employee recruitment and retention tool, while simultaneously providing employers with the benefit of a more educated workforce.  Launching a tuition reimbursement program sends employees the message that you value them and their growth enough to invest in their futures.

Such programs can be tax-favored as well.  If you design your program to meet the Internal Revenue Service’s requirements for an “educational assistance program,” the first $5,250 of tuition assistance is excluded from wages for federal tax purposes.
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On January 1, 2017, Connecticut will “ban the box” for private employers, as well as public employers.  “Ban the box” laws prohibit employers from asking questions about criminal background on employment applications, with some exceptions.  Such laws are becoming increasingly common in states and municipalities throughout the United States.

The new Connecticut legislation, known as

As an employer, you’ve worked hard to put together an attractive benefits package – vacation, insurance, retirement benefits, and maybe even some unusual perks.  But many benefits go unutilized or underutilized, and retirement benefits requiring employee involvement are no exception.  As defined benefit plans – pension plans that provide a set amount of income in

Since the Affordable Care Act’s enactment in March, 2010, employers with 200+ employees have been awaiting the implementation of regulations that would explain the automatic enrollment rule.  Employers with 200+ employees would have had to enroll employees in the company health care plan automatically, while allowing them the option to decline coverage.  Most employer plans

This is Part 6 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed.

Connecticut’s electronic monitoring law requires public and private employers to give prior notice to employees if their activities will be electronically monitored.  Electronic monitoring may take some unexpected forms.  For example, your computer systems likely log all Internet activity

This is Part 3 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed.

Any time you are having employees pay you – whether through a payroll deduction or by having the employee pay you directly – you are walking into a legal minefield.  Deductions are typically allowed only when there is some

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 wage payment statute makes weekly payment the default rule.  For most employers, the only way to pay less frequently than once a week is to obtain permission from the Commissioner of Labor.

Fortunately, it is very easy to request permission to pay bi-weekly.  Employers can simply fill out the form available at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/forms/paywaiver.htm, and within a few weeks, the Connecticut Department of Labor will respond.  The request is almost always granted.  This form can only be used by employers requesting permission to pay bi-weekly.  Employers that wish to pay less frequently (e.g. semi-monthly or monthly) can send a letter to the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Wage and Workplace Standards division stating the reason for the request.  However, such requests are less likely to be granted.  Paying less frequently than monthly is not permitted.


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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 failing to meet all posting requirements can result in legal liability.  What is less obvious is that posting inapplicable notices may also result in legal liability – a danger if your company uses an “all-in-one” labor law poster service.

What’s Wrong with Too Many Posters?

Many employers overlook the risks of posting inapplicable labor law posters.  Each year, many employers receive offers to purchase a laminated “all-in-one” poster designed to cover all bases.  But, one size rarely fits all when it comes to the law.  For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally applies only to companies with 50 or more employees.  If a 20-employee company posts an FMLA poster, could this statement of employee rights bind the company to provide leave to the extent required by that statute?  At least one court has held that in the right factual circumstances, an employee may be entitled to take leave akin to FMLA leave. 


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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 used to prevent many low income employees from earning overtime. 

The last changes to the managerial exemption occurred in 2004 when the salary threshold was raised from $250 to $455.  This was the second increase in the 40 years the exemption has existed.  The remarks by Secretary Perez mirror those made by President Obama back on March 13th that the current $455 threshold is inadequate.  


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