Connecticut News & Analysis

  • NLRB's year-end decisions help employers start the new decade off right

    It was a winning season for businesses, with employers garnering some big victories at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to round out 2019. In October, the Board released a decision enhancing employee privacy during union drives, which would have been a strange way to end the year for what is considered a pretty labor-friendly Board. Not to disappoint, it then closed out the year with a spate of employer-friendly decisions you'll want to know about.

  • How Tom Brady's future with Patriots offers cautionary tale for employers

    New England Patriots signal caller Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback of all time. Many have referred to him as the GOAT—"greatest of all time." That's because of his many Super Bowl victories, the records he has broken, and the fact he has been at the top of his game for 20 years. But many commentators have started to speculate that at age 42, he may have played his last season in Foxboro. In the twilight of his career, he may retire or move on to another team for a year or two. Even if he stays with the Patriots, all agree it may be time to look for a younger replacement to succeed him sooner or later.

  • H-1B update for 2020 brings good news for employers

    Finally there's a bit of good news for employers relying on H-1B visas. The H-1B cap lottery will take place in March/April 2020, and they will be able to register electronically in advance for a small fee to find out if they are successful, without going through the time and expense of preparing an H-1B petition.

  • Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' out of my paycheck

    The Massachusetts Wage Act, also referred to as the "Weekly Wage Law," requires employers to timely pay employees their wages and provides significant protections to those whose rights have been violated. Claims under the Wage Act are especially concerning for Massachusetts employers because employees are entitled to triple damages and attorneys' fees and costs if they are successful. While most of you are familiar with that portion of the Wage Act, you also should remember that the law prohibits you from taking adverse action against an employee because he has made a wage-related complaint. A recent Massachusetts Superior Court case serves as a good reminder of that.

  • Coping with loss in the workplace requires more than just implementing a policy

    Perhaps no other subject in the workplace requires more sensitive treatment than the death of an employee. Bonds among people who work together every day can be strong, and coworkers can be left reeling from the loss of one of their own.

  • NLRB, EEOC confront workplace speech, profanity issues

    Although we rarely admit it, many concrete rules of law are based on intangible "legal fictions" that permit courts to impose some semblance of order on the chaotic world of human activity. One of the most enduring and controversial legal fictions is that in the hurly-burly of the mine and the mill—and the mod-ern office complex—we should expect and excuse heated, even profane, racist and sexist language.

  • Hiring challenges persist despite effective recruiting and smart candidates

    Employers are getting used to dealing with an almost constant talent search. The postrecession economic growth over the past decade has spurred employers to create more jobs, and while that would seem to be good news, the challenge of filling those jobs is often daunting.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Political talk disruptive? 'Guardrails' can help. The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Politics at Work survey, released in November, reveals that 42% of respondents have personally experienced political disagreements at work, and 34% say their workplace isn't inclusive of differing political perspectives. What should you do about such disruptions? SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. says companies shouldn't try to quash political conversations. "But what they can do is create inclusive cultures of civility where difference isn't a disruption," he says.

  • HR Technology

    Report says HR risks becoming irrelevant without modernization. A new report from KPMG finds that three in five HR leaders surveyed believe the HR function will soon become irrelevant if it doesnt modernize its approach to understanding the future workforce. One of the key findings highlighted in Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking? centers on what the report calls HRs defining challenge: shaping the workforce. Fifty-six percent of the surveys HR respondents said that preparing the workforce for artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies will be the biggest challenge.

  • Federal Watch

    OFCCP encourages hiring military spouses. A November 2019 directive from the U.S. Department of Labors Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) encourages federal contractors to recruit, hire, and retain the spouses of veterans and active-duty servicemembers. Directive 2020-01, titled Spouses of Protected Veterans, will require OFCCP compliance officers to ask federal contractors during on-site investigations about their treatment of veterans spouses. The directive also provides a sample policy statement promoting equal employment opportunities for all military spouses that federal contractors can incorporate into their employee handbooks.