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Category Archives: CHRO & EEOC

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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

Followup: Court Dismisses EEOC Lawsuit Challenging CVS Separation Agreement

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

Back in February, I talked about how a lawsuit brought by the EEOC against CVS challenging the company’s standard separation agreement could be a big deal “if the EEOC prevails”. But I cautioned about drawing any sweeping conclusions just then stating: ”My gut tells me that the courts are not likely to view the government’s arguments with favor…. Continue Reading

Peanut Allergies Can Be Disabilities But Analysis Must Run Deeper

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment

Earlier this week, ABC News reported on the story of a woman who had severe peanut allergies who alleged that she was denied a job at a hospital because of those allergies.  I appreciated ABC News reaching out to me for comment. The facts of the story are frankly a bit unclear, so as I… Continue Reading

Coping With Mental Disorders: An Employer’s Obligations

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

My colleague, Chris Engler, returns with another stellar post today tying in the news of the week.   Although you may have read a lot about Robin Williams this week, I encourage you to read one more.  As everyone knows by now, comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away on Monday after a long struggle with… Continue Reading

New CHRO Case Statistics Show Big Jump In Claims Filed in Last Year

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities released a new set of statistics yesterday (my thanks to CHRO liaison James O’Neill for the update which I had requested a while back).  Unlike years past, the statistics this year show some dramatic changes; those changes should have a significant impact on how employers view the agency… Continue Reading

Three Things Employers Can Do Right Now to Ensure Employment Law Compliance

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

While the temperature hasn’t felt like summer in Connecticut the last few days, judging by the traffic this morning, there are lots of you on vacation this week. If you’re one of the (un)lucky ones working this week, perhaps you have a few extra minutes to tackle some projects that have been on the back burner. In… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: EEOC Strikes Again, Desk Shenanigans, New Executive Order, Union Dues, Sharing Salary Info

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Labor Law & NRLB, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Time for another installment of quick hits where I share a few stories that I had hoped to write further about and finally concede that, because of time limitations, I probably won’t. So, you settle a discrimination case with the EEOC.  You’re done, right? Well, not exactly, as this post from the Workplace Class Action… Continue Reading

Accommodating Employees’ Religious Beliefs: A Primer on “Sincerely Held”

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

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides protection to closely held corporations to refuse, for religious reasons, to provide birth control methods and services to employees under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, the issue of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs has… Continue Reading

The Employment Law Exemption for “Religious Corporations” You Never Knew About

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

Over the past month, after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, much has been made in the press about how it is unprecedented for the court to consider a company’s religious beliefs in making its decisions. The issue of taking into account a corporation’s religious belief in the workplace has been also catapulted to the center of… Continue Reading

EEOC Declines a “Pregnant” Pause; New Guidance Awaits Supreme Court Decision

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

Last week, my colleagues Peter Murphy and Harrison Smith, offered to write about the latest developments in the law regarding pregnancy.  The post was scheduled to come out today, when, much to our surprise, the EEOC yesterday afternoon released long-awaited guidance on the subject. So much for that post! After a quick rewrite last night,… Continue Reading

What’s New at the CHRO? Commission Chair Collins Shares His Perspective

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

At Monday’s Connecticut Legal Conference, CHRO Chair Gary Collins spoke for a bit about the developments at the oft-maligned agency since he’s come on board.  (You can follow all the tweets from the conference on Twitter using #ctlegalconf as the hashtag.)While he joked that attendees could just read this blog to find out what was going… Continue Reading

EEOC’s David Lopez Addresses Connecticut Bar Association

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

The Connecticut Legal Conference on Monday (produced by the Connecticut Bar Association) had several noteworthy programs, including a few on labor & employment law.  In today’s post, I’m going to recap the presentation by David Lopez, the current EEOC General Counsel.   He talked about the Top 10 Developments in EEOC Litigation over the last… Continue Reading

Wait, “Inflexible” Leave Policies Are Actually Okay? Sometimes.

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

So last month we talked about how an employer may, in some circumstances, need to give additional leave as an accommodation above and beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Today, my colleague Clarisse Thomas shows how the law in this area really is still developing.  She highlights a new case that comes to a different… Continue Reading

Has IBM Found a Way Around the OWBPA and Should Others Follow?

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

Last week, a story caught my eye and the attention of some of my colleagues.  As reported first by Bloomberg BNA, IBM has stopped providing the comparison information that is typically required in separation agreements for older workers under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. You may be wondering how that is possible.  Robin Shea,… Continue Reading

Road Rules: Ruling Now Guides Telecommuting As Reasonable Accommodation Discussion

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

My colleague, Gabe Jiran predicted the future! Well, not exactly. But in a post earlier this month, he outlined some of the issues relating to whether telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. And now we have some court guidance on the subject.  The road to understanding an aspect of the “reasonable accommodation” is… Continue Reading

Could Telecommuting Be Deemed a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under the ADA?

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

My colleague, Gabe Jiran, (go read his impressive background here, I’ll wait) recently gave a presentation on telecommuting and I asked Gabe to share his thoughts on a notable topic that came up for discussion there.  Thus, in this post, Gabe discusses whether telecommuting could be a “reasonable accommodation.” With today’s technology, employees seem to… Continue Reading

A New “CAR” And Other Proposed Changes to CHRO – Can They Get It Right?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Legislative Developments

Last year, the General Assembly considered changes to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. That bill did not receive a final vote. This year, it’s back but recently died in the Judiciary Committee, according to the CBIA.  Will it get attached to another bill? Will it be tweaked further this fall in preparation for next year’s… Continue Reading

Spiderweb Delivery? Is One Year Enough for a Leave of Absence for a Disabled Employee?

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

You have a disabled employee out of leave for 180 days.  Your policy says that employees may be terminated after the end of 180 days. So, on day 181, can you fire the employee? Today, my colleague Christopher Parkin tackles that difficult question in a recent ADA case brought by the EEOC against a very big… Continue Reading

Background Check Documentation (Printed and Online) Under Renewed Scrutiny

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

If you’re like most employers that do background checks, you probably haven’t thought twice about the documentation you use for it. Perhaps you’ve copied some standard language you’ve found off the Internet (not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that), or maybe you’ve just used a form that has been handed down from one… Continue Reading

EEOC’s Lawsuit Challenging CVS Separation Agreements Is a Big Deal

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

My good friend, Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, probably said it best this morning: I try to shy away from hyperbole, but OH MY GOD, THIS CASE COULD BE RUINOUS!!! Yeah, pretty much. So, if you — like me — have been tied up with day-to-day affairs for a bit, or thinking how tomorrow’s snowstorm… Continue Reading