The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new FMLA Notice and Certification forms for use by employers subject to federal FMLA requirements. The DOL is required to update these forms every three years under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. The previous forms expired on May 31, 2018, and had been extended monthly until the
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 2 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed
Many employers are unaware of a Connecticut employment law essentially requiring offer letters. Employers must, at the time of hiring, advise employees as to their rate of pay, hours of employment, and wage payment schedule. The statute also requires…
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.
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 and Unemployment might also apply to these individuals. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in enforcement surrounding this issue, and employers can no longer assume their unpaid internships will go unchallenged. Like with most other employment laws, it does not matter if the individual agrees to an arrangement that is not permitted by law. “The intern agreed to work unpaid” and “everyone in my industry does it” will not defeat a lawsuit or Department of Labor audit.
Many employers are under the mistaken impression that if the intern receives academic credit, there is no need to pay the intern. This is not true. Although some states require academic credit in order for the intern to be unpaid, this is never the sole factor.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 6-part test, for-profit companies must pay interns at least minimum wage, unless all of the following criteria are met:
- The intern must receive training and the training is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
- The training is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under their close observation;
- The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
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…
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 minimum wage, paid employees in cash, had illegal tip pools, and failed to keep records of all hours worked.
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.
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 …
The Connecticut Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released guidance concerning Public Act 11-52, the new paid sick leave law. The DOL also released a poster that complies with the law’s notice requirement.
Both the guidance document and the poster are available on the DOL’s website
The Spanish version of the poster is forthcoming.
We provided a detailed review of the sick leave law in a post last month.
Though the guidance document does not appear to contain any major revelations, it does provide clarification of certain points and is in a format that is easier for employers to navigate that the Public Act.