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Matthew Curtin is a Partner in the Litigation Department, the Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group.

In Matthew’s cybersecurity practice, he advises clients on compliance with state, federal and international privacy laws including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Matthew is particularly interested in advising his clients concerning employment privacy matters. Matthew is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

In Matthew’s labor and employment practice, he has successfully represented employers of all sizes concerning a wide variety of claims before state and federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Connecticut State Board of Mediation and Arbitration, the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and other various administrative agencies.

Matthew has substantial experience with collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, and labor relations. He regularly counsels senior management and human resources professionals concerning employment contracts, employment policies, hiring and termination procedures, workplace investigations, and harassment and discrimination avoidance.

Matthew has significant experience representing businesses in litigation concerning trade secret theft, unfair competition, and breach of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.

 

 

The Department of Labor announced its return from winter vacation this week by issuing three new opinion letters.  Two of the letters address Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) payment calculation issues; the other deals with the applicability of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to a special health district.

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The holidays arrived early last week for employers and management-side labor attorneys, as the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision approving employer policies that prohibit the discussion of pending workplace investigations. In Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store and Kathy Johnson, Cases 27-CA-191574 and 27-CA-198058, the Board considered two workplace rules: “one requiring employees to ‘maintain confidentiality’ regarding workplace investigations into ‘illegal or unethical behavior’ and the other prohibiting ‘unauthorized discussion’ of investigations or interviews ‘with other team members.’”

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Effective October 1, 2019, Connecticut increased the minimum wage and implemented extensive revisions to existing sexual harassment laws. Below is a brief summary of the changes. As always, Murtha employment lawyers are available to discuss these new laws and how they may affect your organization.

Changes to Connecticut Sexual Harassment Laws


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Notice to employees due September 30, and required contribution withholding begins October 1.

Massachusetts’ Paid Family and Medical Leave program was signed into law in June 2018, and cannot be utilized by employees until January 2021. But by September 30, 2019, employers must notify all covered individuals of the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, and on October 1, 2019, employers must begin payroll deductions for Q2 2019 unless an exemption has been approved.
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In a case of first impression, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has found that, under Massachusetts law, retail and inside sales employees, paid entirely on a commission or draw basis, are entitled to separate and additional pay for overtime hours worked and premium pay for work on Sundays. See Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, No. SJC-12542 (Mass. May 8, 2019).
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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released data detailing breakdowns for the charges of workplace discrimination it received in 2018. Sexual harassment charges increased 13.6% from 2017 – making sexual harassment the second most frequent charge filed with the EEOC.  Overall, the agency received 7,609 sexual harassment charges and obtained $56.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment.
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At long last, the federal Department of Labor has issued its widely anticipated second proposal to raise the minimum salary threshold for employees to qualify for various white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Following a failed attempt by the Obama-era DOL to set a salary threshold of $47,476, the DOL is setting its sights lower this time around with a proposed $35,308 salary threshold.
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A reminder to Connecticut employers: generally speaking, questions about an applicant’s salary history are prohibited as of January 1, 2019. As I detailed in an earlier post, Connecticut has joined the growing number of states restricting what employers may ask applicants about salary history. While salary history inquiries are now generally prohibited, there are