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Category Archives: CHRO & EEOC

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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

Legislative Preview: Will the CHRO Bill Get Passed This Year?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

The short session of the Connecticut General Assembly is set to begin on February 5, 2014. But the jockeying for items to get on the agenda is well under way. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is circulating a proposed bill that would followup on a failed bill from last year’s term. I previously… Continue Reading

The EEOC Regulation You Need to Know When Making a “Material Change” to a Separation Agreement

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

Suppose you have to terminate an employee who is over the age of 40 and you decide to offer that employee a separation agreement. (I’ve previously covered the “standard” provisions in an agreement here and discussed a 2009 EEOC Guidance on the subject here.) You already know (right?) that releases for employees over 40 need… Continue Reading

Seminar Recap: All About the CHRO

Posted in CHRO & EEOC

My colleague, Peter Murphy, was invited to speak at a recent Connecticut Bar Association panel about the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Peter is well-versed in the intracacies of the agency and I asked Peter to share his insights from the panel discussion below. As Dan noted in a recent blog post, I… Continue Reading

The CHRO: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a Charge)

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

Next week, one of my colleagues, Peter Murphy will be at the Connecticut Bar Association to present a program entitled “CHRO 101 – From Complaint to Public Hearing”.   Full details are available at the CBA website. The program includes a discussion of The Complaint Process, MAR (Merit Assessment Review), and Mandatory Mediation, Responding to the Complaint… Continue Reading

CHRO Statistics Released; More Cases Closed Than Opened

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

After my post last week on discrimination statistics (and the lack thereof of CHRO statistics that were publicly available), the CHRO was kind enough to release some additional statistics to me that hadn’t been posted on its website and hadn’t been released publicly before. My sincere thanks to CHRO Principal Attorney Charles Krich for the… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Tanya Hughes Named New Executive Director of CHRO

Posted in CHRO & EEOC

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has selected a new Executive Director from within.  Tanya Hughes — who had been serving as the Interim Executive Director — has been formally named the new CHRO Executive Director. According to a press release issued by the CHRO on Thursday morning: The nation’s first state-sponsored civil… Continue Reading

Employment Law Statistics Tell Part of a Story; Still Waiting for CHRO

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

Every once in a while, it’s worth taking a look at statistics in the employment law arena to get a sense of trends with the law and what employers should focus on.For those that have been paying attention, retaliation claims are now the most filed type of charge filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee… Continue Reading

ENDA Clears Senate Hurdle but House Prospects Look Grim

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

A federal bill banning workplace discrimination (known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “ENDA) on the basis of sexual orientation cleared a key procedural hurdle last night as the Senate voted to begin debate on the measure, 61-30.   Passage by the Senate is now expected later this week.   (You can find my prior coverage of ENDA beginning here.)… Continue Reading

Major Retailer Bans Use of Criminal History as Factor in Job Applications

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

In various posts, I’ve talked about how there is a slow but increasing trend to encourage employers to “ban the box” when it comes to job applications. That catchy (yet non-descriptive phrase) refers to a checkbox that is often found on job applications that asks applicants if they have any criminal convictions. The news this… Continue Reading

The Latest in Dress Codes Before You Get Dressed Down

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

My colleague, Peter Murphy, penned a great article in this week’s Connecticut Law Tribune discussing the uptick in cases challenging dress codes. His conclusion? As these cases demonstrate, employers remain free to establish dress codes or appearance standards that are appropriate for the nature of their business — whether chinos and golf shirts at Best Buy… Continue Reading