Author Archives: James Ingrassia

“An Act Concerning Employee Online Privacy” Goes Into Effect on October 1, 2015

On October 1, 2015, “An Act Concerning Employee Online Privacy” goes into effect. The Act prohibits employers from:

1) requesting that an employee or job applicant reveal their user name, password, or other way to access the employee or job applicant’s personal online account;

2) requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant authenticate or access a personal online account in the employer’s presence; and/or

3) requiring that an employee or applicant invite their employer or accept an invitation  from the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee or applicant.

The Act defines “Personal online account” as any online account that is used by an employee or applicant exclusively for personal purposes, and unrelated to any business purpose of the employee or applicant’s employer or prospective employer. The Act specifically excludes accounts created, maintained, used, or accessed by an employee or applicant for a business purpose of such employee or applicant’s employer or prospective employer.

In addition, the Act prohibits discriminating against, retaliating against, or otherwise penalizing any employee who exercises their rights under the Act. With regard to applicants, the Act prohibits employers from failing or refusing to hire an applicant as a result of the exercise of their rights under the Act.

The Plainfield Board of Education Wins the Right to Privatize Bus Drivers

In a rare outcome at the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration, a panel has issued an award which allowed the Plainfield Board of Education (“Board”) to subcontract all 47 positions in its bus drivers union. The Board was represented by David Ryan of Ryan & Ryan, LLC.

Like many Connecticut municipalities, Plainfield faced severe economic difficulties, including prolonged decline in tax revenue, unfunded pension liabilities, and rising unemployment. In addition, the Board faced difficult budgetary constraints, especially with regard to transportation. As a result, the Board looked into outsourcing its busing function in order to achieve substantial monetary savings. Attorney David Ryan represented the Board in what were contentious negotiations and in the subsequent arbitration before the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration. There were twenty-two issues in dispute. In its statement of last best offer, the Board submitted language granting to the Board the sole and exclusive right to subcontract the work of the bargaining unit.

Attorney Ryan demonstrated a multitude of benefits to outsourcing the Board’s transportation function, including a 10% savings on the $2.6 million budgeted for transportation, as well as an additional 12-14% savings in fuel costs; increased student safety; and a more reliable bus fleet.

The Panel awarded the Board’s language. The award marks one of four subcontracting awards in Connecticut history which granted the right to outsource a bargaining unit in its entirety. Since the award, two other Boards of Education have retained Attorney David Ryan to assist them with subcontracting and privatization issues.

If you have any questions, please contact Attorney David Ryan at (860) 460-7139.