Tag Archives: Connecticut

Is The Minimum Required Salary For Exempt Employees Increasing In Your State In 2019?

While the FLSA minimum salary requirements for “white collar” employees (executive, administrative, or professional employees) is not changing in 2019 (at least not until/unless the Department of Labor announces a new Overtime Rule), there are several states where the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees is increasing in 2019 (December 31, 2018 for New York employers).

These increases (i.e. in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Oregon) are occurring because the minimum exempt salary rates for these employees (as established under state law) are scheduled to increase in 2018 (December 31st for New York employers).

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum salary requirements for white collar employees is as follows:

Payment Schedule Minimum Salary
Weekly $455
Bi-Weekly $910
Semi-Monthly $985.83
Monthly $1,971.66
Annual $23,660

The below table sets forth the changes to the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees in these states.  In those instances where the state minimum salary requirements are lower than the above-listed FLSA requirements, the higher salary threshold applies for employers who are subject to FLSA in order for employees to qualify for an exemption under the FLSA.

Alaska
Applicable Law: An individual employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity shall be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than two times the state minimum wage for the first 40 hours of employment each week, exclusive of board or lodging that is furnished by the individual’s employer. Alaska Stat. § 23.10.055(b).

 Since Alaska’s minimum wage is increasing to $9.89 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $787.20 $791.20
Bi-Weekly $1,574.40 $1,582.40
Semi-Monthly $1,705.60 $1,714.27
Monthly $3,411.20 $3,428.53
Annual $40,768 $41,142.40
California
Applicable Law: Overtime-exempt executive, administrative and professional employees must earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. IWC Wage Orders.

 Since California’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour (for employers with 25 or less employees) and $12.00 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees) starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Small Employers (25 or less employees)
Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $840 $880
Bi-Weekly $1,680 $1,760
Semi-Monthly $1,820 $1,906.67
Monthly $3,640 $3, 813.34
Annual $43,680 $45,760
Large Employers (26 or more employees)
Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $880 $960
Bi-Weekly $1,760 $1,920
Semi-Monthly $1,906.67 $2,080
Monthly $3,813.34 $4,160
Annual $45,760 $49,920
Colorado**
Applicable Law: Exempt executive/supervisory employees must be a salaried employee earning in excess of the equivalent of the minimum wage for all hours the employee worked in a workweek. Colorado Minimum Wage Order.

Note: The administrative and professional exemptions only require that an employee be a “salaried individual” and does not provide a minimum salary requirement.

 Since Colorado’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.10 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt executive/supervisory employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary* 2019 Minimum Salary*
Weekly $408 $444
Bi-Weekly $816 $888
Semi-Monthly $884 $962
Monthly $1,768 $1,924
Annual $21,216 $23,088
* These numbers are based on the employee working 40 hours per week.  If the employee works more than 40 hours per week, the required pay will be greater.
** In order for an executive employee to meet the minimum salary requirement under the FLSA, the employee will need to be paid the FLSA minimum salary.  However, once that employee works over 41 hours in a week, the state minimum wage salary requirement will apply.
Maine
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is 3,000 times the Maine minimum hourly wage or the minimum salary required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, whichever is higher. 26 M.R.S 663(3)(K).

 Currently, the state threshold is higher than the FLSA threshold; therefore, the state threshold applies.

Since Maine’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour starting January 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees is increasing as follows:

Payment Schedule 2018 Minimum Salary 2019 Minimum Salary
Weekly $576.92 $634.61
Bi-Weekly $1,153.84 $1, 269.23
Semi-Monthly $1,250 $1,375
Monthly $2,500 $2,750
Annual $30,000 $33,000
New York – INCREASES 12/31/2018
Applicable Law: Exempt executive and administrative employees must be paid at least the minimum salary set forth in the applicable New York Wage Orders.

 Note: There is no salary basis test for professional employees under New York law.

Under the amendments to the New York Wage Orders, the minimum salary for exempt executive and administrative employees is increasing on December 31, 2018 as follows:

New York City (11 or More Employees)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $975 $1,125
Bi-Weekly $1,950 $2,250
Semi-Monthly $2,112.50 $2,437.50
Monthly $4,225 $4,875
Annual $50,700 $58,500
New York City (10 or Fewer Employees)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $900 $1,012.50
Bi-Weekly $1,800 $2,025
Semi-Monthly $1,950 $2,193.75
Monthly $3,900 $4,387.50
Annual $46,800 $52,650
Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester Counties
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $825 $900
Bi-Weekly $1,650 $1,800
Semi-Monthly $1,787.50 $1,950
Monthly $3,575 $3,900
Annual $42,900 $46,800
Remainder of State
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 12/31/18
Weekly $780 $832
Bi-Weekly $1,560 $1,664
Semi-Monthly $1,690 $1,802.67
Monthly $3,380 $3,605.34
Annual $40,560 $43,264
Oregon*  – INCREASES 7/1/2019
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is the applicable minimum wage multiplied by 2,080 hours per year and then divided by 12 months. Or. Rev. Stat. § 653.010(9).

 Since Oregon’s minimum wage is increasing to $11.00 per hour (for employers in “nonurban counties”), $12.50 per hour (for employers in the Portland metropolitan area), and $11.25 per hour (for the remainder of the state) starting July 1, 2019, the minimum salary for exempt employees will be increasing as follows:

Nonurban Counties (Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties)
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $420 $440
Bi-Weekly $840 $880
Semi-Monthly $910 $953.34
Monthly $1,820 $1,906.67
Annual $21,840 $22,880
Portland Metropolitan Area
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $450 $500
Bi-Weekly $900 $1,000
Semi-Monthly $975 $1, 083.34
Monthly $1,950 $2, 166.67
Annual $23,400 $26,000
Remainder of the State
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary Minimum Salary On 7/1/19
Weekly $430 $450
Bi-Weekly $860 $900
Semi-Monthly $931.67 $975
Monthly $1,863.33 $1,950
Annual $22,360 $23,400
NOTE:  Currently, only employers in the Portland metropolitan area must pay the state salary in order for to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption.  All other employers in Oregon must pay the FLSA minimum salary in order for to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption.

While not increasing, the minimum salary requirements to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is higher than the FLSA threshold in the following states:

Connecticut
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify for an executive, professional or administrative exemption is $475 per week. Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 31-60-14.
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary
Weekly $475
Bi-Weekly $950
Semi-Monthly $1,029.17
Monthly $2,058.33
Annual $24,700
Iowa
Applicable Law: The minimum salary requirement to qualify as a “high-salaried” executive, professional or administrative employee (and qualify for an exemption from overtime if the duties test is also met) is $500 per week. 875 Iowa Admin. Code 218.1-218.3.
Payment Schedule Current Minimum Salary
Weekly $500
Bi-Weekly $1,000
Semi-Monthly $1,083.34
Monthly $2,166.67
Annual $26,000

Recommendation for Employers

It is recommended that employers in these states verify that their exempt employees are receiving at least the minimum salary requirement to qualify for the exemption.

Also, please remember that meeting the salary requirement is just one element needed to qualify for an exemption from overtime.  The employee in question must also meet the duties test and the salary basis test.

Connecticut Becomes Sixth State to Pass Salary History Ban

On May 22, 2018, Connecticut enacted its own version of the salary history ban, making it the most recent example of this recent legal trend.  Similar laws were previously adopted in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont.  Connecticut’s ban will take effect on January 1, 2019.

Current Law

Existing Connecticut law protects employees but not applicants in relation to their wages.  Currently, employers are prohibited from:

  • Prohibiting an employee from inquiring about the wages of another employee.
  • Prohibiting employees from voluntarily discussing their wages with other employees.
  • Requiring employees to sign a waiver that denies them the right to voluntarily disclose the amount of their wages or the wages of another employee.
  • Requiring employees to sign a waiver (or other document) that denies them their right to inquire about the wages of another employee.
  • Discharging, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating or otherwise penalizing employees who disclose the amount of their wages to another employee.
  • Discharging, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating or otherwise penalizing employees who inquire about the wages of another employee (neither the employee nor the employer is required to disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee).

Salary History Ban Continue reading Connecticut Becomes Sixth State to Pass Salary History Ban

NEW LAWS – Three New Laws Going Into Effect on October 1, 2017

Attention Connecticut employers — There are three new employment laws going into effect on October 1, 2017, which will affect your workplace.  Are you ready to comply with the following new laws?

Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace

The most significant new law going into effect is the Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace.  This law amends the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) to add additional protections for pregnant employees.

Under the previous version of the CFEPA, it is unlawful for an employer to:

  • Terminate an employee because she is pregnant;
  • Refuse to provide an employee who is disabled because of her pregnancy with a reasonable leave of absence (i.e. pregnancy disability leave);
  • Deny an employee who is disabled because of her pregnancy any compensation to which she is entitled as a result of the accumulation of disability or leave benefits accrued pursuant to plans maintained by the employer;
  • Fail or refuse to reinstate the employee to her original job or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits and other service credits upon her signifying her intent to return unless, in the case of a private employer, the employer’s circumstances have so changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to do so.

Under the amended CFEPA, employers are also prohibited from:

  • Limiting, segregating or classifying the employee in a way that would deprive her of employment opportunities due to her pregnancy;
  • Discriminating against an employee or person seeking employment on the basis of her pregnancy in the terms or conditions of her employment;
  • Failing or refusing to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee or person seeking employment due to her pregnancy, unless the employer can demonstrate that such an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer;
  • Denying employment opportunities to an employee or person seeking employment if such denial is due to the employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation due to her pregnancy;
  • Forcing an employee or person seeking employment affected by pregnancy to accept a reasonable accommodation if such employee or person seeking employment:
    • does not have a known limitation related to her pregnancy, or
    • does not require a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential duties related to her employment;
  • Requiring an employee to take a leave of absence if a reasonable accommodation can be provided in lieu of such leave; and
  • Retaliating against an employee in the terms, conditions or privileges of her employment based upon such employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation.

Employers are also required to post the new Pregnancy Discrimination Poster in a prominent please in the workplace.  This notice must also be provided to employees as follows:

  • To all existing employees by January 28,2018;
  • To an existing employee within 10 days after she notifies the employer of her pregnancy or related conditions; and
  • To new employees upon commencing employment.

The poster is available in English and Spanish on the Connecticut Department of Labor website.

An Act Concerning the Provision of Notice of a Claim for Compensation by an Employee to an Employer or a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner

This new law is intended to “streamline” the workers’ compensation claims notice process “to ensure that an employer is expeditiously made aware of any workers’ compensation claim made by an employee.”

Under the current law, employers are required to provide a response within 28 days of the receipt of a workers’ compensation claim.  If the employer does not meet this deadline, there is an automatic presumption that full liability for the claim has been acknowledged by the business. The current method has several problems – including:

  • Claims being delivered to a general address,
  • Claims being lost after mailing with no proof of ever having been mailed, or
  • Claims taking extra time to reach the benefits administrator and delaying a company’s response.

The new law attempts to address these issues in the following ways:

  • Employers may choose to post a notice that designates a mailing address where claims for workers’ compensation must be sent. If an employer choses this option, the employer must –
    • Post the notice in the same prominent location as all other workplace posters
    • Provide the designated mailing address to the Connecticut Department of Labor (which will then list the address on its website) and provide any updates to the address.

If the employer follows the above process, then the 28-day period only begins on the date that the notice of a claim is received at that address (in other words, if the employee sends to a different address, the countdown does not start).

  • Employees must mail the notice of claim for workers’ compensation benefits to their employers by certified mail.

Act Concerning the Interstate Passenger Carrier Law

This new law makes certain professional drivers exempt from coverage under the state’s unemployment law.   This exemption applies to drivers under a contract with another party, if that driver:

  • Drives a vehicle that —
    • can transport at least eight passengers, including the driver, and
    • has a gross vehicle weight rating over 6,000 pounds;
  • Owns the vehicle or holds it under a “commercially reasonable” bona fide lease that is not with the contracting party or a related entity;
  • Is paid based on factors that can include mileage-based rates, a percentage of any rate schedules, time spent driving, or a flat fee;
  • Can refuse to work without consequence and can accept work from many contractors without consequence; and
  • Is not considered an employee under the unemployment law’s “ABC Test.”

The benefit for employers, these drivers will not accrue unemployment benefits for their service, and businesses using these drivers are not required to pay unemployment taxes.

Clarification on independent contractor classification for Connecticut employers

In a recent decision (Southwest Appraisal Group, LLC v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act), the Connecticut Supreme Court has provided employers additional guidance on when an individual can be considered an independent contractor – this time in the context of an “independent contractor” working for only one company. Specifically, the Court held that an individual can be considered an independent contractor even if he or she provides services to only one employer.

Background

Southwest Appraisal Group is an automotive damage appraisal business that regularly contracts with independent appraisers for a flat fee.

Upon conducting an audit of Southwest Appraisal Group’s taxes, the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act Administrator found that Southwest had misclassified some individuals as independent contractors instead of classifying those individuals as employees. In making this determination, the auditor used the three-prong “ABC test,” which is the test Connecticut uses to determine whether a service provider is an employee or independent contractor.

In order to show that a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor in Connecticut, a company must be able to demonstrate all of the following:

  1. The worker is free from direction and control of the employer;
  2. The services the worker provides are outside the employer’s usual course and/or place of business; and
  3. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature as the services performed.

Here, the auditor found (and, later, the trial court), that the workers were improperly classified as independent contractors because the company could not satisfy the third prong of the test because the workers in question did not perform work for any companies other than Southwest Appraisal Group during the relevant time period. The fact that workers each owned their own equipment, utilized registered business names, and had business cards with their own contact information and licenses did not change the determination.

Southwest Appraisal Group ultimately appealed the auditor’s finding to the Connecticut Supreme Court. The sole issue before the Court – Does the ABC Test require proof that a worker classified as an independent contractor perform services for multiple companies.

The Court held that evidence of the performance of services for third parties is not required to prove prong C of the ABC Test but, rather, is a single factor that may be considered under the totality of the circumstances analysis governing that inquiry.” In addition, the Court provided 10 factors that are taken into consideration when determining whether prong C is satisfied:

  1. The existence of state licensure or specialized skills;
  2. Whether the putative employee holds himself or herself out as an independent business through the existence of business cards, printed invoices, or advertising;
  3. The existence of a place of business separate from that of the putative employer;
  4. The putative employee’s capital investment in the independent business, such as vehicles and equipment;
  5. Whether the putative employee manages risk by handling his or her own liability insurance;
  6. Whether services are performed under the individual’s own name as opposed to the name of the putative employer;
  7. Whether the putative employee employs or subcontracts others;
  8. Whether the putative employee has a saleable business or going concern with the existence of an established clientele;
  9. Whether the individual performs services for more than one entity; and
  10. Whether the performance of services affects the goodwill of the individual rather than the company for which he or she is performing services.

What Does This Mean for Connecticut Employers?

This case provides valuable guidance for employers who engage the services of independent contractors. It is recommended that Connecticut employers regularly audit their independent contractor relationships to ensure that the totality of the circumstances supports the classification of the worker as an independent contractor.

Connecticut Employers – Do You Consider Your Delivery Drivers Eligible for a “Tip Credit”?

If you do, you must cease this practice immediately. In a recent case (Amaral Brothers, Inc. v. Department of Labor), the Connecticut Supreme Court found that employers cannot take advantage of a “tip credit” for delivery drivers in order to meet the state minimum wage.

Under Connecticut wage and hour law (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-60(b)), a tip credit may be taken for “persons, other than bartenders, who are employed in the hotel and restaurant industry . . . who customarily and regularly receive gratuities.” This law allows certain businesses (e.g. hotels and restaurants) to pay their “service employees” an hourly rate below the state minimum wage and “credit” a portion of the tips earned by the employee towards the required minimum wage.

In this case, a group of pizza delivery drivers had filed a class action lawsuit against their employer claiming that the employer improperly took a “tip credit” from their wages and, as a result, failed to pay them minimum wage in accordance with the law.

The employer, on the other hand, claimed that the employees were “service employees” and, as a result, eligible for the tip credit.

Connecticut law defines “service employees” as “any employee whose duties relate solely to the serving of food and/or beverages to patrons seated at tables or booths, and to the performance of duties incidental to such service, and who customarily receive gratuities.” The employer argued that delivery drivers were service employees because their job duties were similar to that of a waiter carrying food to a customer at a table.

The Connecticut Supreme Court disagreed. Instead, the Court found that delivery drivers do not fall within the scope of the tip credit because “the legislature did not intend that employees such as delivery drivers, who have the potential to earn gratuities during only a small portion of their workday, would be subject to a reduction in their minimum wage with respect to time spent traveling to a customer’s home and other duties for which they do not earn gratuities.”

Take home for employers

For those employers who employ delivery drivers, this ruling may impact how those employees are paid. If your company currently applies a “tip credit” to these employees, that practice must stop immediately. In addition, to the extent that your waitstaff also perform delivery services, the time spent performing those services is not eligible for a tip credit.

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?

In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What does this mean for employers in these states?

Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.

Clarification On The Connecticut Independent Contractor Test

In a recently released decision (Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act), the Connecticut Supreme Court has provided clarification on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s ABC Test for determining independent contractor status. To be properly classified as an independent contractor under this test, a worker must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. The worker must be free from direction and control in the performance of the service, both under the contract of hire and in fact; and
  2. The worker’s services must be performed either outside the usual course of the employer’s business or outside all of the employer’s place of business; and
  3. The worker must be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as the service being provided.

The Case

This case involved a dispute as to whether the installers/technicians Standard Oil used to install and service home heating and alarm systems for its residential customers were properly classified as independent contractors.

When this question was brought before the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL), it determined these workers were improperly classified because (a) they performed work that was part of Standard Oil’s usual course of business and (b) they performed work at customers’ homes, which the CTDOL determined constituted Standard Oil’s places of business. As a result, these workers did not meet 2 of the 3 prongs of the ABC Test and were employees of the Company.

The Connecticut Supreme Court disagreed with this ruling and issued clarification on the factors that should be taken into consideration when evaluating prongs A and B of the ABC Test.

Clarification of Prong B – Defining Place of Business

Prong B of the ABC Test focuses on whether the worker’s services are performed either (a) outside the usual course of the employer’s business or (b) outside all of the employer’s place of business. In this case, the Court’s focus was on the question of whether a customer’s residence would be considered part of the “employer’s place of business” when the work is performed at the residence.

Prior to this decision, the term “place of business” was undefined in Connecticut’s Unemployment Compensation Act. In looking at the legislative history, the Court found that “the employer’s place of business” meant locations that were “in, on or around premises under such employer’s control” – like the employer’s business offices, warehouses and other facilities. In situations where the worker is working at a customer’s residence unaccompanied by company employees and without company supervision, the Court found that the worker would not be performing work at the employer’s place of business. Instead, because the customers (1) determine when the worker can access their homes, (2) bring the worker to the place(s) on their home/property where equipment was to be installed, and (3) identify problems, the customer is in control of the worksite.

Based on this interpretation of “place of business,” the Court determined that the workers did meet Prong B of the ABC Test.

 

Prong A — Free from Direction and Control

Analysis of Prong A of the ABC Test requires a weighing of several different factors to determine whether the workers were under the company’s control and direction. Here, while the Court agreed that there were several factors that indicated the company did exercise some control over the workers, those factors were outweighed by other factors, which demonstrated that the company did not have the right to control the means and methods of the work performed by the workers.

The factors that indicated the company exercised “some control” over the workers were:

  • Workers were prohibited from subcontracting work;
  • Workers were encouraged to wear apparel bearing the company name and display the logo on their vehicles;
  • Workers were paid a set piece rate;
  • Workers could only install equipment provided by the company; and
  • The company retained the right to terminate the workers

However, the following factors indicated that the company did not exercise control and direction over the workers:

  • The company did not own or operate the tools, machinery, or heavy duty vehicles required to perform the work. These were owned/provided by the workers;
  • The company contracted with licensed and certified installers/technicians to perform the work and these workers routinely performed such services for their own businesses or through self-employment;
  • The contracts between the company and the workers provided that the workers exercised independent judgment and control in the execution of any work they performed for the company;
  • The company did not supervise or inspect the work performed by the workers, instead, the workers were monitored by the customers;
  • The workers were free to accept or reject any assignment offered to them without adverse consequences;
  • The company did not provide the workers with an employee handbook;
  • The company did not pay for the workers’ training or require any specific training relating to its products;
  • While the workers were encouraged to wear apparel bearing the company name and display the logo on their vehicles – this was not required;
  • While the workers were paid a set piece rate, the workers submitted invoices to the company and they could realize a profit or loss from the services rendered;
  • The workers paid for their own transportation.

Impact on Connecticut Employers

Employers should consider reevaluating the classification of their independent contractors in light of this decision. When doing this analysis, keep in mind that worker classification is an individualized determination based on the specific facts of each worker relationship. While this case may provide helpful guidance for employers in determining whether an independent contractor is properly classified, the individual circumstances of a specific worker relationship will govern.

Connecticut Employers, Are Your Wage Payment Practices Compliant?

A newly effective law gives Connecticut employers reason to audit their wage payment practices and ensure that those practices are in compliance with Connecticut law.

On October 1, 2015, Connecticut’s “Act Concerning an Employer’s Failure to Pay Wages” went into effect. Under this law, unless employers can show that the mistake was made “in good faith” (a term that is not defined in the statute), Connecticut employers will be subjected to mandatory double damages for failure to pay wages, accrued fringe benefits, or an arbitration award, or failure to pay state minimum wage or overtime. In addition, the new law allows a prevailing plaintiff-employee to recover his/her attorney fees.

In light of the steep penalties associated with violations of Connecticut’s wage and hour laws, it is recommended that Connecticut employers consult with a qualified employment attorney to ensure their wage practices and policies are in compliance with Connecticut law.

Connecticut No Smoking Restrictions Extended to eCigarettes and Vapor Products

Connecticut’s new law regulating electronic nicotine delivery systems (“eCigarettes”) and vapor products in places of employment (in addition to numerous other venues) went into effect on October 1, 2015.

Connecticut’s Public Act No. 15 206 prohibits the use of eCigarettes and vapor products in the following places:

  1. Buildings owned or leased and operated by the state or its political subdivisions,
  2. Health care institutions,
  3. Retail food stores,
  4. Restaurants,
  5. Places that serve alcohol under specified permits,
  6. School buildings during school or student activities,
  7. Specified child care facilities,
  8. Passenger elevators,
  9. Dormitories at public or private higher education institutions, and
  10. Dog race tracks or facilities equipped with screens for simulcasting off-track betting racing programs or jai alai games.

The Act also requires covered employers to post a sign indicating that the use of these products is prohibited by state law. The signs must have letters at least four inches high with principal strokes at least one-half inch wide. The letter size requirement does not, however, apply to elevators, restaurants, establishments that serve alcohol, hotels, motels, other lodgings, and healthcare institutions. Finally, these signs must be posted in a conspicuous place in each room, elevator, area, or building in which use of eCigarettes and vapor products is prohibited.

It is recommended that affected Connecticut employers verify their existing no smoking signs are in compliance with the new requirements.