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Category Archives: Discrimination & Harassment

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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

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

Cabbie’s Fear of Dogs Doesn’t Trump Requirement to Allow Service Dogs

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

Back in 2012, I posted about a lawsuit filed by a cab driver who claimed he suffers from cynophobia (a fear of dogs), who was fired after he refused to pick up a blind customer with a service dog.  The cabbie claimed that his termination violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because he has a disability —… Continue Reading

CBIA Says New Bill Could Be “Double Trouble” for Businesses

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

Well, so much for a slow legislative session. New proposals keep popping up with changes big and small for employers. The latest was reported on by the CBIA in a post entitled “Double Trouble for Businesses?” and talks about Senate Bill 106, which you can download here. The bill purports to protect immigrants, but as… Continue Reading

Will “Fifty Shades of Grey” Launch Fifty Hostile Work Environment Claims?

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

Back in May 2012, I wrote this about a book that was making its way around various book clubs that was dubbed by The New York Times as “Mommy Porn”. [H]aving someone read [Fifty Shades of Grey] alone during a lunch break, by itself, is probably not enough to establish a sexual harassment claim. The fact that it… 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

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

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

Not Every Action By Employers Can Be the Basis of a Lawsuit

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today with a primer on what it takes to establish a “prima facie” case of discrimination — the bare minimum to get the case to be considered by a court.  Today, we focus on the third element — the “adverse employment action”. What is that, you ask? Read on. If… Continue Reading

No Right to Jury for Discrimination Claims Against State, Court Says

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

My colleague, Chris Engler, joins us again with a post today about whether or not a jury trial is required for certain employment law claims.  I’ll have a full recap of my presentations on data privacy in an upcoming post soon. While many of us spent last weekend celebrating Columbus Day, our neighbors to the north… 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

Fantasy Football: A Real and Present Danger to the Workplace?

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

A confession first: I’m in a fantasy football league. Actually two of them.  It’s fun and makes weekend football watching a heck of a lot more interesting. But did you know that fantasy football has led to all sorts of real issues in the workplace? Well, longtime readers may remember an incident from five years… Continue Reading

Guest Post: A Law Professor’s — and Mother’s — Perpsective on Race

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

After my first year in law school, I clerked for Professor Kimberly Norwood at Washington University in St. Louis Law School during the summer. (If editing a law review article on statute of limitations is your thing, the experience was nirvana — I even made it to a footnote.)  We’ve kept in touch since then and have… Continue Reading

Paper Trail: DOJ Brings Issue of Hiring Documentation to Forefront

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

Late Friday, you might have (ok, I’m sure you did) missed a press release from the United States Department of Justice announcing a settlement with a staffing agency in California. The charge? That a staffing company “discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).” Now, I’m sure you all… 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

ABA Approves Model Workplace Policy on Employer Responses to Domestic Violence

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

One of the roles that I relish is being a member of the American Bar Assocation’s House of Delegates for several terms now.   The ABA adopts certain policies at its Annual Meeting and uses its bully-pulpit to try to get such policies enacted at the federal, state or local level.At this year’s meeting, which took… 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 & NLRB, 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