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Category Archives: Discrimination & Harassment

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When Your Model Employee Isn’t Anymore

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

I loved Bill Cosby. When we first got cable TV as a kid, I must have watched his movie “Himself” a few dozen times after school. His “Chocolate Cake” routine was even something I showed my kids a few years ago. And I don’t think I missed many episodes of his sitcom either. When the… Continue Reading

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

DOL’s Internship Test Rejected by Second Circuit Creating Conflict with New Connecticut Law

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

Did you enjoy the fireworks last week? I’m not talking about the real Independence Day fireworks; rather, it’s a new Second Circuit decision that should have employment lawyers popping this morning. For a while, we’ve been talking about interns.  Indeed, back in 2013, I talked about how a wage/hour case involving interns on the movie… Continue Reading

Can Employee Display a Confederate Flag on Facebook as Free Speech? Or Can Employer Take Action?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

There’s been lots of talk lately about the Confederate flag and its symbolism in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings. But I wondered: How has this flag come up in the context of employment discrimination cases? It’s actually referenced a bunch according to a quick search by Google.  A case out of Alabama alleged a… Continue Reading

Intern Anti-Discrimination Bill Signed By Governor

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

Capitol Watch – The Hartford Courant’s political site – tweeted the following yesterday: Gov. Malloy has signed a bill protecting interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. — Capitol Watch (@capitolwatch) June 22, 2015 And a review of the Governor’s website reflects that approval in the bill notification release. (I read them so you don’t have… 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

No Specific Statute Cited in a Pleading? No Problem, Says the Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

It is commonly understood that Connecticut is mainly a “fact-pleading” state when it comes to the court system. What does that mean? Well, Norm Pattis, in a 2013 Law Tribune column, described the significance in calling for the state to change the way plaintiffs file their lawsuits. You recall the distinction, don’t you, between notice… 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

Being “Qualified” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Being Able to Perform “Essential Functions” of Job

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Back in September 2013, I reported on a seemingly never-ending case of Tomick v. UPS and mentioned that it was headed to its second appeal at the Connecticut Appellate Court. (I talked about the history of the case and the first appeal back in 2012 too.  Amazingly, it dates to a termination decision way back… Continue Reading

Be Smarter than the Average Bear: ADA Accommodations at Camp

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

So “bear” with me on this one. Today is Yogi Berra’s 90th birthday. The Yankee great is famous for not only his play as a baseball player but also for his sayings, such as “Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.” He was so popular he was said to inspire the name of… 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

“Pay Secrecy” Bill Goes Above and Beyond Other Proposals

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

As I said before, the notion that this might be a quiet year for employment law legislation at the Connecticut General Assembly has long since left the train station. Indeed, we’ve appear to be swinging completely in the opposite direction. Anything and everything appears up discussion and possible passage this year — including items that really stood… 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

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

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

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

What Connecticut Employers Need To Know About Young v. UPS

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided one of the most anticipated cases in the court’s docket this year — at least for employment lawyers — in Young v. UPS.  There’s been lots of bytes uploaded talking about the case from a federal level.  Much of it is straightforward — in the sense that everyone… Continue Reading

In Employment Litigation, the Best Defense is a Good Defense

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

It’s a busy week in employment law. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court case decided Young v. UPS — a case about pregnancy discrimination. I’ll have more on that case in an upcoming post (in the meantime, check out Jon Hyman’s post on the subject). But in today’s post, my colleague Chris Engler talks about a… Continue Reading