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As an attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group, I represent manufacturers in all areas of labor and employment law.  This includes discharge and discrimination issues, workplace investigations, affirmative action compliance, employee discipline, wage and hour issues, disability and reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave, unemployment, training, and defense in federal and state court and before administrative agencies. My full firm bio can be accessed here.

I represent manufacturers in the aerospace, consumer goods, machinery and other industries, which involves identifying practical, cost-effective and realistic solutions that prioritize and solidly execute the client’s objectives.  Manufacturers face unique challenges stemming from compliance with ever-changing industry regulations, including those impacting federal contractors.  Early in my career, I toured a client’s facility facing union-related struggles and realized that only through observing the workplace on the ground level can an attorney successfully understand and represent businesses.  As an employment attorney, I work alongside clients as a true partner to further their key personnel and human resources goals, including efficient and safe operations, recruitment and retention of talent, diversity and inclusion, among other issues. Whether advising on a leadership transition or on compliance with wage payment laws, the aim is always the same – to solve problems so clients can focus their attention on doing what they do best - manufacturing.

Manufacturers are preparing to welcome interns into their businesses this summer. Internship programs can play a key role in a company’s ability to develop and retain talent, cultivate new ideas and perspectives, and provide valuable mentorship and opportunity to individuals entering the field, resulting in goodwill in the professional community. With the benefits of these

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

National Equal Pay Day, a presidentially-proclaimed day intended to draw attention to gender-based pay disparities in the United States and beyond, was celebrated across the country on March 15, 2022. In recent years, this day has gained even more

Below is an excerpt of an article co-authored with Kayla N. West and Jonathan H. Schaefer that was published in ISHN on February 16, 2022.

The article points out that since the COVID-19 vaccination was made available to the public in late 2020, the topic of vaccination has been widely discussed across the country, in

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

In today’s world, employees in manufacturing and similar industries spend a majority of their time on-site at work, engaging in work, and communicating with other employees. Over time, employees may form close bonds with other employees, including friendships, close

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

This week, we continue our 2022 outlook series with a focus on labor and employment.  It goes without saying that over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed certain weaknesses and opportunities in the economy and in

Over the last few months, manufacturers have been paying close attention to two COVID-19 vaccination mandates issued by the federal government pertaining to employers.  First, on September 9, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order which imposed several COVID-19 safety standards and protocols, including mandatory vaccination, upon certain federal contractors and subcontractors.  Second, at the

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

As 2021 comes to an end, many employers are preparing to meet record and reporting obligations. For employers with 100 or more employees who are required to file the EEO-1 Component 1 Report (EEO-1 Report) annually, this may involve ensuring that the relevant personnel information is accurate. While the annual deadline for submitting the EEO-1 Report is typically March 31 (subject to change and extension), employers must generally choose a “snapshot” period for their EEO-1 Report by selecting one pay period in the fourth quarter of the relevant survey year (i.e., the year prior to submission). One issue related to reporting obligations that has arisen in recent years is how to properly report employee with non-binary genders on the EEO-1 Report.
Continue Reading Reminder to Employers Regarding EEO-1 Reporting Obligations

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

Last month, President Biden issued an Executive Order which effectively imposes several COVID-19 safety standards and protocols, including mandatory vaccination, upon certain federal contractors and subcontractors. Specifically, the Executive Order directs federal agencies to incorporate a clause into all covered federal contracts which will require federal contractors or subcontractors to comply with guidance published by the White House’s Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Guidance), and which was released on September 24, 2021.  Under the Executive Order and Guidance, certain manufacturers and other companies doing business with the federal government will soon be required to mandate vaccination for their workforces and ensure compliance with masking and social distancing requirements, among other requirements.
Continue Reading Mandatory Vaccination and Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

While employers in healthcare and education have mandated, or considered mandating, vaccination of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, recently employers in many other industries are considering doing so. Manufacturers are now grappling with how best to evaluate the risks associated with such policies, implementation and administration of a mandatory vaccination policy, and the handling of requests for exemption, which may follow. Under federal and many state laws, employers requiring vaccination must provide employees (and applicants with job offers) with the opportunity to request an exemption from vaccination as a reasonable accommodation, based on a disability (or medical condition) or sincerely held religious belief. Employers are required to engage in an interactive process with employees to understand the request and determine whether to approve or deny it. Therefore, it is critical that employers maintain clear policies and procedures for evaluating such requests and understand their legal obligations in doing so. Of particular note, general vaccine hesitancies and personal philosophies are generally not protected by law and employers are not required to consider such exemption requests unless a state or local law provides otherwise.
Continue Reading Navigating Requests for Exemption from Mandatory Workplace Vaccination Policies

This week’s post was co-authored by Robinson+Cole Labor and Employment Group lawyer Emily A. Zaklukiewicz.

Earlier this year, we covered the topic of drug testing in the workplace. Since then, several states have passed legislation legalizing recreational use of cannabis, including Connecticut; this new law not only legalizes the recreational use of cannabis in the state, but also imposes various obligations and restrictions on employers, which are effective July 1, 2022. While certain employers in the manufacturing industry may be exempt from these employment-related restrictions in the new law, manufacturers may still be impacted.
Continue Reading Connecticut’s Recreational Marijuana Law And Its Impact on the Workplace