Webinar: Guide to Employee Discipline

Can I get a moment to breathe?Join Shipman & Goodwin Labor and Employment attorneys Keegan Drenosky and Clarisse N. Thomas for this complimentary employment law webinar where they will offer a review of legal best practices for navigating the do’s and don’ts of the disciplinary process.  Presenters will discuss how to deal with employee complaints, discipline, and employee reviews through proper documentation, and how to protect your organization from incomplete investigations and inconsistent disciplinary practices.

When: June 13, 2017  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
Where:  Webinar

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 5/22/17

CASOriginally appeared in the CAS Weekly Newsletter. Written by Attorney Thomas B. Mooney.

Dear Legal Mailbag:

I am new to my position as principal of a small elementary school and, frankly, I am surprised at how low energy my teachers are. It seems to me that they do the absolute minimum whenever they can. To make matters worse, they are apparently immune to my exhortations to get more involved. Despite my efforts to affect attitudinal change through modeling, direction and positive reinforcement, these teachers seem to pay little or no attention to the students they supervise in the hallways, lunchroom and on the playground.

I have tried to explain my concerns to teachers individually. However, to a person, they have claimed that I am mistaken, that they “love” the students and are delighted to pay them close attention during supervisory times. That’s nonsense, and I would like to show the teachers that their interactions with students during supervisory times are fleeting and impersonal. Accordingly, I have been looking into installing surveillance cameras in the hallways and lunchroom and even outside in the recess areas so that I can monitor teacher behavior during such times and maybe even show them what I see.

I have a discretionary account at my school and I have sufficient funds to start buying cameras and having them installed. Being new, I want to impress the superintendent with my creative energy. As I move forward with my plan, I am torn between talking with the superintendent first or just surprising him (and the teachers in my building) by telling him about the cameras after they are installed.

I am eager to feel the excitement from the superintendent that will assuredly come with the installation of cameras. Tell me please how you recommend I share this good news with the superintendent.

Big Brother Lives Continue Reading

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Redesigned Permanent Resident Card and Employment Authorization Documents

Social Security card and permanent resident on USA flagAs we mentioned in an earlier post, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as the Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS began issuing new cards on May 1, 2017. For more information on the changes and additional information for both employers and employees, USCIS has provided a brief overview entitled “Redesigned Permanent Resident Card and Employment Authorization Document.”

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A Harbinger For Some U.S. Visa Applicants of More Rigorous Vetting and Longer Waits for U.S. Visas?

application form visaOn March 6th, President Trump issued a Memorandum Seeking Rigorous Evaluation of All Grounds of Inadmissibility. As a direct result of the March 6th Memorandum, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for emergency review and approval of its intention to collect supplemental information from visa applicants, and they asked OMB to approve their request by May 18th. The DOS proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in the application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel
  • Address history during the last fifteen years
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by applicant
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings
  • Names and dates of birth for all children
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Telephone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years

Continue Reading

Tom Mooney, Gabe Jiran and Chris Engler to Present at the Annual CASPA Conference

Engler_C_WebJiran_G_WebMooney_T_WebOn May 19, 2017, Thomas B. Mooney, Gabriel J. Jiran and Christopher E. Engler will present the topic, “Being an Employer in the Digital World” at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Connecticut Association of School Personnel Administrators (CASPA). The presentation will review the latest developments in electronic monitoring, social media, surveillance, personal cell phones and mobile devices, and workplace recordings.

CASPA is a professional organization of personnel/human resource administrators, superintendents, and other administrators and support staff who have responsibility for the personnel/human resource functions in Connecticut school districts.  For more information about CASPA and to learn more about the Annual Conference, visit the CASPA website.

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – 5/15/17

CASOriginally appeared in the CAS Weekly Newsletter. Written by Attorney Thomas B. Mooney.

Dear Legal Mailbag:

When I signed up to be an administrator, I never realized what expansive rights nosy people have under the Freedom of Information Act. I understand that the public has the right to know certain things, but it seems like these busy bodies can dissect everything that I do and say. Just last week, for example, I wrote an email to the director of human resources asking what I should do about a rumor I had heard that one of my teachers has a gambling problem. Wouldn’t you know it?! The reporter for the local newspaper heard the same rumor, asked for any related emails, and she is now asking for my comment on what I plan to do about this teacher and his gambling problem.

This FOIA stuff is getting really old. From reading Legal Mailbag, I know that you are clever. Just between us, what do you suggest?

Looking for Advice on the QT Continue Reading

Shipman & Goodwin Hosts Annual Law Day Event

Student laughing at desk in classroomOn May 3, 2017, Connecticut area high school students learned firsthand about the legal profession at Shipman & Goodwin’s Law Day 2017, an annual event designed to give students from diverse backgrounds an inside view of life at a law firm.  The theme of this year’s Law Day was Equal Protection Under the Law.  Approximately twenty students from Bloomfield High School and CREC’s Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies joined us for a range of activities.  The students took part in a panel discussion about career options in the law and related fields with attorneys and staff from the firm.  They also participated in educational discussions regarding student rights under the U.S. Constitution and enjoyed a round of Legal Jeopardy testing their knowledge.  The highlight of the event was a trip to the Connecticut Supreme Court, where the justices greeted the students and the students had an opportunity to view other students’ award-winning poetry and art and to mingle with the justices and other legal professionals.

Peter Maher to Present at Lehigh University’s 45th Special Education Law Conference

Maher_P_WebOn May 12, 2017, Peter Maher will co-present the session, “The Policies of OSEP, OCR, and DOJ for Students with Disabilities: The Current Status and the New Direction” at Lehigh University’s 45th Special Education Law Conference.  This session will review (a) recent trends in policy guidance and enforcement from these three agencies in relation to students with disabilities and (b) how the change in the federal administration may impact the content and contours of these policies.

Clare K. Papay, Ph.D., Institute for Community Inclusion – Boston, MA

Selene A. Almazan, Esq. Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc., – Towson, MD
Peter Maher, Esq., Shipman & Goodwin LLP – Hartford, Ct

The Special Education Law Conference one-day program will provide a year-in-review keynote and sessions including: ESSA and its impact on students with disabilities; foster children (ESSA) and state laws; effective IEP meetings; transition; high functioning students on the autism spectrum; agency policies for students with disabilities; compensatory education; mental health including therapeutic placements; parental participation- schools and families working together; the role of law enforcement in relation to students with disabilities; substantive standard for FAPE; do’s and don’ts of special education litigation and two sessions on ethics. For more information, please visit the event website.

Benjamin FrazziniKendrick to Present at the 2017 Connecticut Education Network Annual Conference

FrazziniKendrick_WebBenjamin FrazziniKendrick will participate on a panel discussion with Doug Casey, Executive Director, Commission for Educational Technology, about student data privacy at the May 12, 2017 Annual Connecticut Education Network (CEN) Conference.  The discussion will review likely changes to Connecticut’s student data privacy law during the current legislative session, and attendees will gain insights into free tools and resources that districts can leverage to become and remain compliant with the statute’s requirements.

2017 marks the 5th Annual Member Conference hosted by CEN. Over 450 participants came out last year to network with their peers and learn about technology and industry trends. Invited are a wide range of key stakeholders drawn from educators both K-12 and higher ed, municipalities, libraries, businesses and State of Connecticut agencies, including decision makers and technical experts. For information visit, CEN Conference.

USCIS Announces Targeted Use of Site Visits to Certain H-1B Employers to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

Young Man TeacherU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in April multiple measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program is meant to help U.S. companies recruit highly skilled foreign nationals in specialty occupations when there is a shortage of such qualified professional workers in the country. Yet, according to USCIS, the perception among some Americans is that too many American workers who are as qualified, willing and deserving to work in professional fields have been ignored by U.S. employers or unfairly disadvantaged by the availability of foreign nationals on H-1B visas. Thus, USCIS intends to make it a priority to protect American workers by combating fraud in employment-based immigration programs, including the H-1B visa program.

As of April 3rd, USCIS has assumed a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country to the worksites of H-1B employers and their sponsored H-1B professional workers. USCIS will now focus on making site visits in the following cases:

  • where it cannot validate the H-1B employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;
  • where U.S. employers are H-1B-dependent (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and
  • where the H-1B professional workers sponsored by the U.S. employers work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

USCIS believes that targeted site visits to the worksites of such H-1B employers will allow it to focus resources where fraud and abuse of the H-1B program may be more likely to occur. In addition to verifying the accuracy of the information provided by the H-1B employer about the employer and the terms and conditions of the H-1B employment, these visits should allow them to determine whether H-1B dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers. USCIS will now also conduct random and unannounced site visits nationwide, not intended to target nonimmigrant employees for any kind of criminal or administrative action, but rather to identify employers who are abusing the system.

To further deter and detect abuse, USCIS has established an email address [ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov] to allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect they or others are the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) to submit tips, alleged violations or other relevant information about potential H-1B fraud or abuse. Information submitted to the email address will be used for investigations and referrals to law enforcement agencies for potential prosecution.

Visit www.shipmangoodwin.com/immigrationupdates