September 13, 2017
It’s not too often I get to blog about one of my favorite topics, limited liability litigation, in connection with a case involving a law firm. Typically, law partners want to keep their partnership disputes out of court, at least in Connecticut. But one case filed back in April involving a local law firm has heated up, and another was recently filed between the same parties. Check the dockets out here and here. The litigation raises interesting questions about what it means to be a true “member” of an LLC versus simply holding an economic interest, along with the issue of assignments... Read more.
September 3, 2017
The use of electronic communications and internet in the workplace makes it increasingly important for Connecticut employers, especially small businesses, to understand some basic laws governing what they can and cannot do when monitoring their employees’ electronic activity.
The Connecticut Electronic Monitoring Act
The Electronic Monitoring Act requires employers to notify employees of any electronic monitoring that may be conducted in the workplace. It applies to all Connecticut employers, including private employers, without regard to size.
Employers must post a... Read more.
August 10, 2017
Cybersecurity has become a very hot issue throughout the private and public sectors over the last few years. From the alleged hacking of the 2016 election to the hacking of Target in 2013, which led to the theft of 70 million customers’ credit card information, no one is safe from hackers, especially small and medium-size businesses. According to the 2016 State of Small and Medium Business Cybersecurity Report, half of all small businesses in the United States have been compromised in the last 12 months. Connecticut has a Cybersecurity resource page that offers helpful tips and information... Read more.
August 6, 2017
Yes, of course you can, if he or she is doing some very bad things. You see, partners get into disputes all the time. Disagreements happen, whether they are between partners in a limited liability company, a true partnership, or shareholders in a closely-held corporation. And sometimes those disagreements are pretty serious, like when one partner steals money from the company. Or, maybe one of the partners starts a competing business and takes away the company’s customers. That kind of stuff gets serious, and is not the kind of behavior partners can (or should) turn their back on.... Read more.
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.
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.