Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Category Archives: Discrimination & Harassment

Subscribe to Discrimination & Harassment RSS Feed

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

Will “Microaggressions” Make Their Way Into Employment Discrimination Cases? Have They Already?

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

Over the last few months, I’ve seen an increasing number of articles start highlighting an issue that has been percolating at college campuses: The theory of “Microaggression”. Not familiar with the term? The New York Times has recently written about the term become the “word du jour”: A tone-deaf inquiry into an Asian-American’s ethnic origin…. Continue Reading

Final Four Madness: Preparation Still Matters To Win On (or In) The Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Over the weekend, I asked my colleague, Chris Engler, to think of any employment law lessons that could be divined from the victories of the UConn Men’s Basketball team.  He reminds us in the post below that preparation still matters.  Of course, this isn’t the first time this blog has written about the UConn Huskies (see… 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

Continuing to Challenge Whether An Employee Has a “Disability” Under ADAAA

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

When the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) passed Congress in 2008 (remember when Congress used to pass employment laws??), one of the most talked about changes was that Congress declared that the question of whether an individual’s impairment was a “disability” should not require “extensive analysis.” It was thought by some at the time,… 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

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

What Happens in a “He Said/She Said” Case? A Trial

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Every week or two, the federal court in Connecticut is asked to decide a motion for summary judgment in a discrimination case.  I’ve yet to discuss what these motions are in detail on this blog, but a recent federal case in Connecticut provides a good learning example. To simplify (drastically?) a federal court case in… Continue Reading

Settlement Agreement Provisions To Consider When Settling Discrimination Claims

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

A few days ago, I came across a thoughtful post from Work Matters, a longtime blog run by Michael Maslanka. In it, Mike describes a clause in a settlement agreement to get around an issue that sometimes arises — how do you minimize the threat of an EEOC claim when the EEOC has taken the… 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

Connecticut’s Gender Wage Gap: Report Paints a Complicated Picture

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

The Gender Wage Gap Task Force in Connecticut issued its report last month with both findings and recommendations on a continued disparities between what men and women, on average, earn. In doing so, it recognized that there are multiple factors that are responsible for the gap in its view.  It paints a far more complicated picture… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Starbucks Tip Policy, E-Cigarettes, Sniffing Employees, Female Bosses, USDOL, Thanksgivukkah

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

With Hanukkah tonight, and Thanksgiving tomorrow, (or “Thanksgivukkah” as some have called it humorously),  here are a few morsels of employment law information to get you started. Last week, the Second Circuit upheld Starbucks’ Tip Policy.  While the Second Circuit does cover Connecticut, the issue it had to decide was based on New York Labor Law. … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds Summary Judgment for Employer

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Not every case that comes out from the Connecticut Appellate Court makes headlines. Take the case of Walker v. Department of Children & Families, a new case that will be officially released next week (download here). It is a fairly ordinary discrimination case — albeit a rare one where the employer has been successful on… Continue Reading

[Updated] Discovery Protocols in Employment Cases Are Here to Stay in Federal Court

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

UPDATED 11/22/13, 3p Earlier this week, members of the CBA’s Federal Practice Section were informed that the Initial Discovery Protocols in Employment Cases are now being used by all the judges in the district. As such, lawyers and clients should now expect to deal with them in various types of discrimination cases filed in federal court… Continue Reading

“Simply the Best”, from an Employment Lawyer

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Social Media

Over the years, we’ve had a little fun on this blog, with friendly bets with other employment law attorneys, over everything from a sports event to, well, a sports event.  The loser traditionally has to extol the virtues of the winning team on an employment law blog with some loose employment law tie-in. Last week,… 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

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

Telling the Victim in a Harassment Case to Just Fight Back or Toughen Up Is Not a Solution

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

The sports headlines this week have turned into news ones.  One football player on the Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito, is accused of harassing (bullying? hazing?) another player, Jonathan Martin.  The details are still being determined so despite the media jumping to conclusions, it really does seem too soon to enter a final judgment on the entire incident.  But… 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

Pitfalls of a “Naughty Nurse” at Work and Other Workplace Horror Stories

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

The last two years, it hasn’t been much fun to celebrate Halloween in Connecticut. Between the freak Snowtober storm and then Superstorm Sandy, it’s nice to have a relatively quiet year. But for employers, this whole “back to normal” thing could lead to unintended consequences. So, on this Halloween, it’s worth revisiting two older posts that… 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

Mandatory Flu Shots for Employees in Connecticut: Fact vs. Fiction

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NRLB, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

As the temperature starts to dip this week and our thoughts start turning from fall to winter, so starts slow climb up the absenteeism ladder. Around many workplaces, flu shot clinics are starting to pop up.  Not surprisingly, studies show that flu shots reduce the rate of absenteeism.  (Employees who get vaccinated get sick less… Continue Reading