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Scott E Schaffer

Scott Schaffer’s Answers

117 total


  • If there is a discrepancy between a company headquartered in CA and an employee living in CT, which state's law would govern?

    I recently put in my two weeks' notice at my job. The HR department says that I am not allowed to use my accrued vacation time prior to terminating my employment, and they are not required to pay me for it. My company headquarters are based in CA,...

    Scott’s Answer

    Because you are based in CT, CT law applies. CT law does not require payouts upon termination. Instead, CT relies on the company's policy to govern whether a payout is due.

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  • If a person has a medical problem, or a disability under the A.D.A , does he have to disclose it to an employer when applying?

    Had a back injury in the past and heavy lifting can cause me back issues. With reasonable accommodation, like someone helping me lift something over 50 pounds, I'll be ok. Restricting the weight limit for lifting below 50 pounds and I will be o...

    Scott’s Answer

    You are not required to disclose a disability during the interview, pre-offer period. It appears you honestly answered the question regarding your ability to do the job, albeit with reasonable accommodation. I would not consider your answer to be a falsification. Your employer must now provide the lifting accommodation, unless it can show doing so would impose an undue hardship on the company, which is difficult to prove given the relatively minor accommodation requested.

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  • What is the statute of limitations in CT for filing of a discrimination/harassment case in state or federal court?

    Do all cases have to be filed in CCHRO or EEOC of can they be filed in state court without the commission filing?

    Scott’s Answer

    You must first file with CHRO within 180 days. You can have them cross file a federal claim with EEOC. Once your claim has been sitting at CHRO for 180 days you can request a release of jurisdiction from CHRO and then file in either state court , or federal court, assuming you have a federal claim.

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  • This is a release my future employer would like me to sign or I wont get hired and it's nothing to do with my job.Is this legal?

    For good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I irrevocably grant to "name upon request" LLC, and its direct and indirect subsidiaries, affiliated entities and divisions (collectively "Company"), those for whom the ...

    Scott’s Answer

    This is a very broad release and it is unclear why the hiring company may want you to sign it given your comment that it has nothing to do with your job. For instance, if you were a model, it may make sense, but only if you received sufficient consideration in return.

    You should ask them why they want you to sign the document and then discuss their answer with an attorney. Signing it would not be unlawful per se, as they are offering a job in return for the release, but you should definitely seek legal advice before signing.

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  • Daily wage vs Hourly

    I am offered daily wage. Below is comment from company. Never heard of daily wage. Please suggest "XXX is a daily shop. All consultants are paid on a professional day and you are expected to stay until the job is done."

    Scott’s Answer

    Under CT law you can be paid by the day, provided the rate divided by the actual hours worked exceeds the minimum wage, which is currently $9.15.

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  • Does work completed after a contract ends require payment to the contractor if they did the work while under contract?

    we hire independent contractors to find employees for job placement. they contract for a year. if a person is hired for a job, after the contract ends, even though its' a result of the contractor's work, do we pay the contractor even though they ...

    Scott’s Answer

    Normally the contract between you and the independent contractor will determine the answer. The contract should have been drafted to cover this situation. If there is no contract, the contractor may be able to sue you for unjust enrichment. He would have to show he provided a benefit to you, you benefited from his work, and it would be unjust for him to not be compensated.

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  • I am a volunteer firefighter for a town in connecticut, can i legally miss a work day due to obligations for my fire company?

    for things such as a structure fire, or storm duty for severe weather?

    Scott’s Answer

    Yes, provided you comply with the requirements of CT Statute 7-322c, which I've pasted below. Thank you for your service.

    Sec. 7-322c. Employers prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees who are volunteer firefighters or members of volunteer ambulance services due to volunteer service. Remedies. (a) No employer shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against any employee who is an active volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer ambulance service or company because such employee is late arriving to work or absent from work as a result of responding to a fire or ambulance call prior to or during the employee’s regular hours of employment.

    (b) Each employee covered by this section shall:

    (1) Not later than thirty days after July 9, 2003, or the date on which the employee is certified as a volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer ambulance service or company, whichever is later, submit to the employer a written statement signed by the chief of the volunteer fire department or the medical director or chief administrator of the ambulance service or company, as the case may be, notifying the employer of the employee’s status as a volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer ambulance service or company;

    (2) Make every effort to notify the employer that the employee may report to work late or be absent from work in order to respond to an emergency fire or ambulance call prior to or during the employee’s regular hours of employment;

    (3) If unable to provide prior notification to the employer of a late arrival to work or an absence from work in order to respond to an emergency fire or ambulance call, submit to the employer a written statement signed by the chief of the volunteer fire department or the medical director or chief administrator of the volunteer ambulance service or company, explaining why the employee was unable to provide such prior notification;

    (4) At the employer’s request, submit a written statement from the chief of the volunteer fire department or the medical director or chief administrator of the volunteer ambulance service or company verifying that such employee responded to a fire or ambulance call and specifying the date, time and duration of such response;

    (5) Promptly notify the employer of any change to the employee’s status as a volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer ambulance service or company, including, but not limited to, the termination of such status.

    (c) An employee who is discharged or discriminated against in violation of this section may, not later than one year after the date of the violation, bring an action in the superior court for the judicial district where the violation is alleged to have occurred or where the employer has its principal office, for the reinstatement of the employee’s previous job, payment of back wages and reestablishment of employee benefits to which the employee would have otherwise been entitled if such violation had not occurred. The court may award the prevailing party costs, together with reasonable attorney’s fees to be taxed by the court.

    (d) For purposes of this section, “employer” means a person engaged in business who has employees, including the state and any of its political subdivisions.

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  • Does my employer have the right to terminate me because I smoke? Today I received a verbal warning because a fromal complaint.

    The complaint issued was of because I smell, and was advised to have a plan by Monday the latest.

    Scott’s Answer

    CT Gen Statute 31-40s protects employees from discrimination or discipline for their off duty use of tobacco products. If you are smoking before or after work hours, or during authorized breaks, you cannot be disciplined for such use.

    Your question, however, raises an interesting question whether the tobacco smell you bring back into the workplace after smoking impinges on the rights of other employees who may have an allergic or respiratory reaction. If their reaction is related to some form of disability, they may be entitled to some form of reasonable accommodation that may include not being exposed to odors related to your smoking. A quick search of the case law reveals no cases testing these boundaries.

    You may want to point your employer to the statute and argue they have no right to prevent your off duty smoking, and doing so violates the law. Leave it to them to bring up any conflicting legal rights of co-workers. Their position may simply involve a preference, and not any legal need to accommodate co-workers.

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  • Can a independent contractor who was fired file a law suit against you or a C.H.R.O. in Connecticut?

    I had a independent contracted dentist who was at my office and was let go for inappropriate behavior and now he is trying to sue me through the C.C.H.R.O can he do this?

    Scott’s Answer

    The first issue is whether he was truly an independent contractor or an employee. Employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors. If he was an employee, he can file a complaint with the CHRO. If he was an independent contractor, he cannot, as CHRO only has jurisdiction over employer discrimination against employees. Independent contractors, however, can sue you for breach of contract. You should have an attorney review his employment status and assist you in responding to the CHRO complaint, as lack of jurisdiction may come into play.

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  • We hired a "salaried employee" for a retail store who was supposed to work full time. She missed work 8 times, and we had to pay

    we hired a "salaried employee" for a retail store who was supposed to work full time (40 hours a week minimum). Over two months, she missed work 8 times, and we had to pay extra to another employee to cover for her absence everytime. She actually ...

    Scott’s Answer

    The pay and docking rules for exempt employees are complex. Your question assumes several facts that may not be accurate. Although you considered the employee "salaried" and thus "exempt" they are only exempt if they meet the salary and duties tests under the law. If they pass the exempt test, you can dock them for full days of absence for personal reasons, like going to a wedding. If the employee was sick and you have a sick pay plan you can dock them for full day absences if they have not yet qualified for, or have exhausted, their sick time. You cannot dock for part day absences. The docking rules are very fact specific.

    You cannot have a rule that the employee reimburses you for the wages you paid another employee during the absence. Also, you cannot make any deductions from wages without the employee's written consent.

    You should get legal advice and have a lawyer review your polices and practices.

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