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Category Archives: CHRO & EEOC

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A Vacation Perspective: The “Waterfall” Noise of Employment Law

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Wage & Hour

The first day back from vacation is always fun. And by fun, I mean “not fun AT ALL.” There’s the e-mails. And the voicemails. And the things that you should’ve gotten done before vacation that you really honestly tried to do, but well, you just couldn’t. And then there’s the news and other “information” that… Continue Reading

Revisiting Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA — Being “Effective”

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

What does it really mean to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who has a disability? That’s a question I talk about a bunch with clients.  The employee may request one thing but the employer may think that another accommodation can accomplish close to the same thing, perhaps at a lower cost.  Who wins?… Continue Reading

Can You Still Have Dress Codes After Abercrombie Decision?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

I’m not a fan of click-bait, so if you clicked the headline just to know whether your company can still have a dress code policy after the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the answer is “yes”. But there’s an important caveat and for that, you’ll need to read on. The Court’s… Continue Reading

Back from the Dead: Procedural Changes Coming to CHRO and New Protections for Domestic Workers

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Featured, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

So in a post earlier on Friday, I recapped most of the employment law legislation that passed — except one. That bill, Senate Bill 446, was titled “AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM “DOMESTIC WORKER”.   Innocuous enough, right? But as it turns out, that bill was used as a cover to pass through… Continue Reading

BREAKING – U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Motive, Not Knowledge, Is Critical in Disparate Treatment Cases

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

The long-awaited EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch case was released by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning, reversing the Tenth Circuit’s decision. You can download it here. For anyone following the case, the decision shouldn’t come as a big surprise.  I’ve talked about the case before here and here. The main holding of the case… Continue Reading

General Assembly Passes Bill Protecting Interns from Discrimination and Harassment

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Believe it or not, harassment against summer interns isn’t directly prohibited under Connecticut law.  (But treating them like employees without paying them is against the law.) This is not, however, a column about the best ways to harass your interns.  Indeed, regardless of the law, it’s bad in so many ways.  (And the CHRO has… Continue Reading

“I Don’t Want to Be Alone Anymore” – Refusing to Meet with Female Subordinates One-on-One

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments

I confess that when I first heard the story last week that some Capitol Hill lawmakers were refusing to meet alone with female subordinates, I didn’t pay much attention to it.   Lawmakers just being lawmakers. (I was also reminded of the old Billy Joel song, I Don’t Want to Be Alone Anymore, but I digress….)… Continue Reading

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of punitive damages.  In doing so, the Appellate Court attempts to resolve a split that had developed at the… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Transgender Workplaces; Proving Emotional Harm; “Digital Natives”; Labor History in Schools

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Labor Law & NLRB, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

With Twitter, I’ve been doing less “recap” posts of late. Why? For the simple reason that you can get all of the posts I’ve read of late on Twitter. We didn’t have that when I started the blog nearly 8 years ago. (Side note: It was eight years ago this week that I came up… Continue Reading

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Supreme Court’s Decision on Conciliation a Yawn for Connecticut Employers

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EEOC has a duty to conciliate that has go a bit beyond words before filing suit as a party.  In the case, EEOC v. Mach Mining (download here), the employer argued that the EEOC cannot just say that it has tried to resolve the matter through conciliation;… Continue Reading

Retaliation Claims Still Remind Us: Scrutinize Your Employment Decisions

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

I know. We’re a bit of a broken record here. Another post on the perils on retaliation claims. (I’m resisting adding the “so sue me” joke here.) But new decisions from the courts keep coming out which give us an opportunity to do refreshers to employers and provide subtle tweaks to the associated wisdom surrounding… Continue Reading

3 Mind-Blowing Tips For Employers About Sexual Harassment From Cosmo

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I don’t care who you are: Somewhere, in a doctor’s waiting room, or a supermarket checkout line, you’ve seen the headlines of Cosmopolitan magazine. But, as luck would have it as an employment lawyer, imagine my surprise when I saw this headline: “He Did WHAT?! The Cosmo Guide to Surviving Sexual Harassment at Work“. Of… Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Wellness Program Rules

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

Late last week, the EEOC released the proposed rules on wellness programs for employers.  These long-awaited proposed rules will likely be adopted in full by this summer, after the public has 60 days to submit comments. I talked about this in a post last fall and even in a post back in 2011.  But now, we… Continue Reading

When Do Volunteers Become “Employees” Under Anti-Discrimination Laws?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Having this blog for nearly eight years, it’s fair to say that I’ve covered quite a few topics. But every once in a while, a never-before-discussed issue makes it way to the forefront. Today is one of those days. My colleague, Gary Starr, has a post today about a recent Connecticut Appellate Court decision (CHRO v…. Continue Reading

Bill Amending CHRO Procedures Is “Mostly” Dead

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

If you read the headlines this morning, you may have seen that nearly four dozen bills died at the Judiciary Committee yesterday afternoon.  Indeed, no bills made it out at the deadline. The unusual occurrence seemed related to an e-mail allegedly written by one representative. The Hartford Courant has the details on that. For employers,… Continue Reading

So Much for a Quiet Legislative Session on Employment Law Issues

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

When I made predictions/wishes for 2015 at the end of last year, I offered up one on what the Connecticut General Assembly might do: My Prediction: We’ll see a new rule or two, but with all the mandates that have been passed in the last four years, I expect there to be more bluster from politicians, but that we’ll actually see a bit less interference… Continue Reading

Consistency in Policy Application Critical for Employers

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

As I talked in yesterday’s post, I moderated a community forum on Religion and the Workplace at my firm. We had a terrific crowd and I’m grateful to all the speakers for making time out of their busy days to come. I have posted on this blog before about some of things we talked about… Continue Reading

Let’s Talk About Religion and the Workplace

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

As I hinted at the beginning of the year, I expected topics relating to religion to take front and center this year. And certainly, the events of the first few months have supported that. Today, I’ll be moderating a community forum at my firm, Shipman & Goodwin LLP, entitled “Gotta Have Faith? Religion in the… Continue Reading

Connecticut Law May Force Employer to Transfer Pregnant Employee

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

So, in yesterday’s post, I alerted you to a portion of the state’s pregnancy discrimination law that you may not have been aware of, namely Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46a-60(a)(7)(E).  If you haven’t read it yet, I’d suggest you do so for background for today’s post. But after yesterday’s post, you may be wondering, is this… Continue Reading

The Pregnancy Discrimination Laws You Never Knew About

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

With all the talk about the Supreme Court deciding a pregnancy discrimination case this term and what it means for federal law, there is a separate Connecticut law on the subject — a portion of which you are probably unfamiliar with. Yes, you probably know that if you’re an employer with three or more employees, you can’t… Continue Reading

If the CHRO Ran the Legislature: Agency Proposals On Deck

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

As the legislative session continues to roll around, sometimes you can get caught up in bills that have no chance of getting passed. For example, the General Assembly — as presented structured — will never pass a bill making Connecticut a Right to Work state. But when the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities… Continue Reading

The Year of Religion and the Workplace

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

The law works in mysterious ways.  (Cue the U2 song.) Some years seem to get dominated by a particular type of issue, even though the law has been around for years. This year, it seems as though issues of religion and the workplace are taking center stage. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in… Continue Reading

Three Observations about the New EEOC Statistics

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

The EEOC released its yearly statistics and it’s interesting to put together a story line from the numbers.  Here are three quick observations from my review of the stats: 1) Big Drop in New Cases: Perhaps not surprisingly given the improving economy, the number of new claims filed with the EEOC dropped by nearly 5000 claims,… Continue Reading