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Category Archives: Discrimination & Harassment

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You Don’t Want To Be THAT Person on Someone Else’s Holiday

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

Today marks Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and one of the holiest days of the Jewish year. But it’s a day of business to many. What should employers be doing for employees, though, that are celebrating the day? There are actually a few different ways to answer the question. The first answer, looking just… Continue Reading

Department of Labor Releases New Pregnancy Discrimination Poster

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

Last week I talked about the new state law regarding pregnancy discrimination that is going into effect on October 1, 2017.  In that post, I mentioned a new notice that was required to comply with the law. Although there is no set form that is required to be used, the Connecticut Department of Labor has… Continue Reading

Two Weeks Until New Protections for Pregnant Employees Become Effective

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

For those unfamiliar with the way a lot of Connecticut laws get implemented, October 1st could seem like just another day.  (Though for my kids, they would be impressed that it was a different October 1st in 1982 that EPCOT opened at Disney World.) But a lot of bills that are passed by the Connecticut… Continue Reading

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim for Job Applicants Remain Viable

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

A lot has been made of the recent district court decision on legal job protections for qualifying medical marijuana patients. But the decision has another piece that has been overlooked and which may cause employers some heartburn as well. The “Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress” cause of action has been on life support for the last… Continue Reading

Not Giving Employees Something (Namely a Discrimination Complaint) To Talk About

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

There’s an old(?) Bonnie Raitt song that my parents used to listen to when I was in college called “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About”.  It’s about a crush, but the intro could be just as applicable to a new court decision. The lyrics start: “People are talkin’, talkin’ ’bout people, I hear them whisper,… Continue Reading

CT Medical Marijuana Law Protects Employees; Not Preempted By Federal Drug Laws

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Labor Day has come and gone. Summer is over.  Can we all stop listening to Despacito now. (Please?) But it’s time to look at a decision that came out during the dog days of summer that might have been overlooked.  A recent federal district court case (Noffsinger v. SSN Niantic Operating Co. LLC, download here)… Continue Reading

“Hold My Position Open Indefinitely” Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation, Court Rules

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

The Connecticut Appellate Court today released an important disability discrimination decision that gives employers some support for employees who struggle with employees who ask for “accommodations” for an indefinite leave for a medical condition. The case ostensibly addresses the request for “indefinite leave” which I’ve previously talked about it in prior posts. But the case boils down… Continue Reading

Compliance with Today’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Through a History Lesson

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

Over the weekend, I was doing a lot of driving.  Having a kid at camp near the New Hampshire border to pick him up will do that. So, it was time for me to catch up on some podcasts I had downloaded but hadn’t yet listened to. I had already finished S-Town (worthy of a… Continue Reading

Another Employer’s Defense in Disability/Medical Marijuana Case Goes Up in Smoke

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Featured Content, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

While the relaunch of the blog has been delayed a bit more (I swear it’s coming soon), it’s time to have another post in the interim. My colleague Gary Starr is back with an interesting decision from the state next door — Massachusetts. As some Connecticut employers cross state lines (and marijuana cases continue to arise),… Continue Reading

This is Why the Number of Employees You Have Matters in Employment Law

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

There are many confusing aspects of employment law — not the least of which is that certain laws only apply to employers of a certain size. For example, the federal age discrimination law, ADEA, only applies to a business if it has 20 or more employees who worked for the company for at least twenty calendar… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: Sex Harassment in the Workplace — Still an Issue, but How Much?

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

The Dialogue, a online conversation between yours truly and a prominent employee-side attorney, Nina Pirrotti, returns today with another installment — this time tackling the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace.   For prior installments, check out these posts here and here.  As for the promised redesign and relaunch of the blog, it’s nearly complete…. Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Pregnancy Discrimination Protections Under State Law Changing?

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

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Connecticut House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that would greatly expand the already broad anti-discrimination provision that exist under Connecticut law.  The bill, House Bill 6668, would make several substantive changes to the protections including defining what is a “reasonable accommodation” instead of leaving that determination open. I’ve previously… Continue Reading

Citing Statistics, Yankee Institute Critical of CHRO — Again

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

This week, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, a self-described “free market” think tank, issued an article suggesting that Connecticut had nearly the same number of discrimination complaints as our neighboring state, Massachusetts. (This isn’t the first time it’s been critical of the CHRO.) In doing so, the Yankee Institute claimed that these statistics raise… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: Workplace Complaints and Happy Endings As Rare As Unicorn Frappuccinos?

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

The Dialogue — one of the more popular recurring posts — returns for the third time. Does that mean the third time’s the charm? Or is it three strikes and we’re out? In any event, Nina Pirrotti of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald and Pirrotti, P.C. returns for this installment where an employee-side and employer-side attorney discuss the… Continue Reading

Title VII and Sexual Orientation Debate Largely Moot in Connecticut

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

Over the last week or so, there have been two prominent Circuit Court decisions addressing whether Title VII (the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and national origin) can be interpreted to also protect employees from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The Second Circuit, which… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rejects Employee’s Trypanophobia Claim

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

You don’t need to look for a needle in a haystack to figure out this latest case from the Second Circuit. But you do need to know what “trypanophobia” is. Ready? Fear of needles. That becomes important in a Second Circuit court decision yesterday holding that an employee’s fear of needles prevented that employee from… Continue Reading

The Dialogue: Hiring Employees the Right Way (From Different Sides)

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

I’ll confess. I’m excited about today’s post.  It’s hard to find something new to do after nearly 10 years of blogging, but I think today’s post is pretty innovative. Unless you read The New York Times “The Conversation” which we’ve tried to copy emulate here.  Except this post (and hopefully others) will be called “The Dialogue”.  Somehow different,… Continue Reading

Mary Tyler Moore Taught Us One of the Best Employment Discrimination Lessons

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

Mary Richards’ job interview with Lou Grant is, perhaps one of the most famous job interviews ever. So says Time magazine. Before I go on, though, there are probably more than a few of you who don’t know what I’m talking about. But with the passing of Mary Tyler Moore earlier today here in Connecticut,… Continue Reading

Could “The Last Jedi” Actually Be Practicing Religion in Your Workplace?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

Yesterday, news came out that Episode 8 (I mean, VIII) of the Star Wars series would be named “The Last Jedi”. Which reminded me about an article in The New York Times I saw a few weeks ago that I had been meaning to write about. Turns out there are, according a BBC report cited… Continue Reading

Punitive Damages Not Available For State Employment Discrimination Claims

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

In a decision that will be officially released next week, the Connecticut Supreme Court has, at last, ruled that punitive damages are not an available remedy for state law employment discrimination claims. You may recall that I discussed the Appellate Court’s decision that had originally found the same thing back in 2015.  The case, Tomick… Continue Reading

Deep Dive Into CHRO Case Statistics Show Increases in “Harassment” Claims

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

As I did last year, after I posted on the general statistics of the CHRO to see if we could glean any trends, I took a deeper dive into what the statistics this year show.  And there were definitely a few surprises. Obviously, at the risk of repeating yesterday’s post, FY 2015-2016 was a very big… Continue Reading

New Statistics From CHRO Show Continued Rise in Discrimination Complaints

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

At this week’s CHRO information session, I was able to review the new statistics released by the CHRO this fall regarding case filings and dismissals. They’ve now been posted live on the CHRO’s website here. It’s something I’ve covered each year and I’m always fascinated by what these statistics show — and don’t show. What’s… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Back to the Basics on Sexual Harassment Prevention

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

Wrapping up my look back this shortened week at some “Basics” posts, here’s a reminder of the obligations employers have to conduct sexual harassment prevention trainings.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for your continued readership.   With every new law that gets passed, it’s easy to overlook the existing requirements that employers must follow…. Continue Reading

Employers, Employees and Reasonable Accommodations: A Webinar

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

Tomorrow, I’ll be part of a webinar produced by the American Bar Association on reasonable accommodations under the ADA.  You can still sign up here. The topic page for the webinar gives a fairly concise summary: A reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is any modification or adjustment to a job or… Continue Reading