According to Connecticut’s highest court, the public policy of the state did not require the termination of a state employee who was caught smoking marijuana during work hours. State of Connecticut v. Connecticut Employees Union Independent, (SC 19590) August 19, 2016 (official release date August 30, 2016). Gregory Linhoff, a skilled maintenance worker at the University of Connecticut Health Center, was terminated after a police officer observed him smoking marijuana from a glass pipe in a state van with the door open.
Articles about Connecticut Labor and Employment Law.
Today, a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s ("DOL") implementation and enforcement of its Persuader Rule, which was scheduled to begin applying to agreements for labor consulting and advice work on July 1, 2016. (See our prior posts here and here for more information.) The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of Independent Business ("NFIB"), challenging the legality of the Persuader Rule on several grounds. The judge today found that the NFIB had demonstrated a substantial likelihood of prevailing in the lawsuit and that irreparable harm would result if the Rule was not enjoined pending resolution of the lawsuit.
On June 7, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute authorizing employers to use payroll cards to pay employees. Previously, the Connecticut Department of Labor’s position was such cards were not authorized under state law and could not be used. Connecticut now joins the majority of states in allowing this payment method.1
Connecticut has joined the “Ban the Box” movement, becoming the most recent state in the nation to implement statewide legislation prohibiting employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on job applications, except under certain circumstances.
On June 2, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed Public Act 16-95, establishing significant new restrictions on physician non-compete agreements in Connecticut.
A new Connecticut law significantly restricts the use of physician non-compete agreements. Public Act No. 16-95 (the “Act”), signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy on June 2, 2016, limits the allowable duration and geographical scope of any new, amended, or renewed physician non-compete agreement. The law also states that physician non-compete agreements are unenforceable if the employer terminates the physician’s employment or the contractual relationship without cause. The new restrictions are set to take effect on July 1, 2016, so employers with physician non-competes are left with little time to assess the Act’s impact on their operations and to plan for compliance.
On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that prohibits most employers from requesting criminal history information on an initial employment application. Connecticut’s new “ban-the-box” law follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in Vermont and continues the nationwide ban-the-box trend.1 Indeed, ban-the-box laws have recently been enacted in other jurisdictions, including Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and New York City.2 Connecticut’s ban-the-box law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.
Certain health care facilities specializing in long-term care in Connecticut will be required to register with a statewide background check portal beginning February 8, 2016.
A new Connecticut standard provides for the award of double damages and attorney’s fees to employees who prevail on claims under the state’s wage and hour statutes.
Connecticut has passed a new law regulating electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products in various venues, including numerous places of employment. Effective October 1, 2015, Public Act No. 15 206 (the Act) supersedes and preempts any relevant provisions of municipal laws or ordinances regarding the use of these products.
For the second time in five years, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) will implement significant changes to its procedures for processing discrimination complaints, under Public Acts 15-249 and 15-5. These changes, including the availability of quick dispute resolution, take effect October 1, 2015.
In June, Connecticut’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 949 which amended the State’s breach notification statute. The requirement that covered businesses must provide one year of identity theft protection services for certain breaches, easily the most popular aspect of the legislation, may have diverted attention from some significant aspects of this new law.
This 2015 update reflects the revisions the Connecticut Legislature passed to the law (eff. 01/01/15) and the associated revisions the Connecticut Department of Labor made to its Guidance.
While employers frequently attempt to restrict discussion among employees regarding pay, recent legislation in Connecticut prohibits employers from disciplining or otherwise retaliating against employees who discuss wage information.
On June 22, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute that extends workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation protection to unpaid interns. Historically, it was unclear whether an individual working as an unpaid intern was protected from workplace discrimination or harassment. As a result of the enactment of Public Act 15-56, on October 1, 2015, unpaid interns in Connecticut will be provided the same protections as employees covered by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”).