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July 7, 2017

Yes, Connecticut employers may drug test their current employees, but not randomly unless the job is high-risk or safety sensitive.  And thank God, since one report finds that 1 out of every 10 employees comes to work high on marijuana.  Connecticut has a specific statute that allows employers to drug test current employees; only under certain circumstances and only if they comply with the statute. First, the employer must have "reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol which adversely affects or could adversely affect such employee's job performance... Read more.

June 9, 2017

If Governor Malloy signs it, a new law—sHB 6668, “AN ACT CONCERNING PREGNANT WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE”—will alter existing protections for pregnant employees, effective on October 1, 2017.  

Unlike the current law, this new law would explicitly require employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant employees or applicants, unless the employer shows that the accommodation would be an “undue hardship,” as those terms are defined in the Act.  The new law contains a non-exclusive list of reasonable accommodations, including things like more frequent breaks, periodic rest... Read more.

April 12, 2017

Wow. Just when you think our courts are becoming more business friendly, the Connecticut Supreme Court issues a decision on whether businesses can enforce oral contracts. The answer for Homemaker Companion Agencies is a resounding “no.” This isn’t too surprising because, similar to home improvement agreements which must be in writing and signed by the homeowner, contracts between consumers and agencies that provide homecare services must also be in writing and signed by the consumer. There are other examples, including agreements to sell a piece of real estate, and loans over $50,000,... Read more.

April 1, 2017

Connecticut Contractors beware, that cartoon was reality for one of your peers, and cost him a ton of money.  A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision (meaning it’s the law of the state) took away a contractor’s $214,039 court judgment it had won for services it had performed for a homeowner. You can read the decision here. We’ve blogged about home improvement contractor laws here and here.

Bottom line is you must ignore the voices in your head that tell you “you don’t need a written agreement” or “none of my contractor friends use agreements.” If you don’t use an agreement that... Read more.

ABC Test for Independent Contractors

March 19, 2017

So many businesses rely on independent contractors to provide services to their customers. Home improvement contractors quickly come to mind. Businesses realize many benefits from using independent contractors, rather than employees. Not having to pay unemployment tax for the independent contractors is one huge benefit, and unemployment claims are usually when a business gets into trouble in this area.

Typically the law, and the Department of Labor’s (both federal and state) enforcement efforts frowns upon independent contractor relationships, and in recent years the agencies... Read more.

March 12, 2017

Yes, there is, but not when compared to the loyalty of a pet. So what can you do if you discover a seriously disloyal employee? Even if you do not have a written agreement with the employee such as a non-compete agreement or non-solicit agreement (you can read up on these here), you can still protect your business from an employee that competes with you behind your back. All employees owe their employers a "duty of loyalty."  This means that your employees cannot do things that violate the trust and confidence you have bestowed on them. Employees sometimes violate this trust by working for... Read more.

January 19, 2017

Why do companies have some employees sign noncompetition agreements and nonsolicitation agreements? Well, it's simple. So they can protect their business, its goodwill, income, the business owners' livelihood, and all of things that make the business  valuable.

And why do businesses often hire employees that they know have these types of agreements with their former employers? Well? That's simple also. Often times they want to capitalize on the information that the employee has about their competitor. Well, at least sometimes that is the case. But not always. But when it is, and... Read more.

December 26, 2016

I was wondering whether Santa Claus has ever really been in court charged with a crime.  Sort of like "Miracle on 34th Street." Alas, he was.  Santa was arrested and prosecuted in Ohio for knowingly possessing a fictitious identification card, a first degree misdemeanor. It seems Santa had collided into the rear of another vehicle. After handing some cash over on the spot to the other driver as compensation, the cops came and Santa dutifully provided his state-issued photo identification card. The police officer wasn't in the same Christmas spirit and arrested Santa for the "fake" I.D.  ... Read more.

December 12, 2016

Words in contracts almost always mean something, especially in distributorship agreements, invoices and purchase orders. The thing is, you never really find out what they mean until there is a dispute. In a recent federal court case in Connecticut, (read the decision here) the district court transferred a case from Connecticut to South Carolina because of a forum selection clause (or choice of venue, meaning the location of the lawsuit) in a credit application that also appeared in the fine print on the reverse side of invoices. But in this case, the party that won the decision (the... Read more.

November 27, 2016

When does a prevailing party have to apply for an award of attorney's fees in Connecticut state court? Lawyers received an answer from the Connecticut Appellate Court last week in Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman. You can read the decision here.  We've discussed attorney's fees before, which you can read here and here. Connecticut attorneys follow the Practice Book, which contains our rules of civil procedure. A particular rule, Practice Book Section 11-21, says that any application for attorney's fees "shall" be filed within 30 days of the final judgment. This means if you win your... Read more.

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