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Category Archives: CHRO & EEOC

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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

New Retaliation Standard of Proof Shows Its Teeth

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

When the U.S. Supreme Court changed the standard for proving retaliation cases back in 2013, there was some speculation as to whether the standard would result in different decisions. Before the court’s decision, employees who claimed they were retaliated against, needed to show only that the retaliatory motive was a “substantial or motivating fact” affecting… Continue Reading

Name that Party When Represented by Counsel, Says the Court

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Litigation

What’s in a name? To a recent Superior Court decision, everything. But only if you have been represented by counsel. Confused? Let’s backup for a second. A prerequisite to filing a discrimination claim in state court is that the employee file the same claim before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  This includes, in… Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Three (More) Bold Predictions in Connecticut Employment Law in 2015

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Having tackled the predictions in employment law on a federal level, what does the future hold for employers in Connecticut? Besides a debate on Family & Medical Leave Insurance, there are a few things we’re likely to see. 1. New bills at the General Assembly: The first one comes courtesy of Mara Lee over at… Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Three Bold Predictions in Employment Law for 2015

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

Every year, I break out a crystal ball, or a magic 8-ball, or some tea leaves, and make some pronouncement about what will happen in the upcoming year. It’s sort of a no-lose proposition. If I’m right, well, then I pat myself on the back. If I’m wrong, well, it’s just an educated guess. So,… Continue Reading

Connecticut Court: Perceived Disability Claims May Proceed Under State Law

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

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today with a post discussing a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that has expanded the state’s anti-discrimination laws when it comes to disability claims.  When Congress enacted the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), it recognized that fears, misperceptions, and stereotypes about disabled individuals are so pervasive that employment discrimination reaches… Continue Reading

The “Association” Game: How a Spouse’s Cancer May be Covered by the ADA

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

Last week, we talked about an employer’s obligations when it comes to an employee who has cancer. But what about an employee’s spouse? Does the employer have any legal obligations there? Let’s start first with a story: Jake and his supervisor, Alex, have had a great working relationship but lately, things seems to have changed. At least… Continue Reading

Cancer and the Workplace: Tips for Employers

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

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Last week, I shared my family’s personal story about how cancer has impacted us.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a few tips for employers.  Even if you don’t presently have an issue with an employee, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with some of the… Continue Reading

Three Times a Charm

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

Today, my colleague Marc Herman writes a follow up to his post on October 27th regarding wellness programs. Continuing its publically waged war against wellness programs, the EEOC has, once again, dragged another employer into the litigation minefield of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This time, Honeywell, Inc.––a Minnesota-based technology manufacturer––has, excuse the pun, got… Continue Reading

Background Check Settlements Still Costing Employers Big Dollars

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

My colleague Peter Murphy and I have been talking a lot about background checks lately.  It’s easier than ever to run a basic Internet search on someone, but what information do you find? And are there any limts? Today, Peter talks about two recent settlements of background check claims against employers. Both cost the employers… Continue Reading

Your Company’s Wellness Program May Violate The Law, Says the EEOC

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

I’ve talked about wellness programs from time to time here on the blog.  Robin Shea, on her great blog, first brought this up back in August. But since then, there are some new developments from the EEOC that employers should keep an eye out on.  Today, my colleague Marc Herman joins us for the first time to… Continue Reading

Court’s Decision on Severance Agreements Avoids Central Issues

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

Just a quick followup today on a post from last month. As I reported then, a District Court judge dismissed a closely-watched EEOC lawsuit against CVS challenging a pretty standard severance agreement.  But the grounds for the dismissal were unknown back then. The wait is over; the written decision was released yesterday.  For those that were hoping that… Continue Reading

Can an Employer Ever Win at the CHRO?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

I sometimes lament that employers get the short end of the stick when it comes to matters before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  There’s little doubt, as I’ve said before, that more cases are being retained for investigation. But what happens after an investigation has concluded that there is “reasonable cause” to believe that discrimination occurred?… Continue Reading