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Category Archives: Discrimination & Harassment

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Well Well: Court Sides with Employer in Latest Wellness Program Battle (Part 1)

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

My colleague Marc Herman returns today to bring back the story of wellness programs and whether they will continue to pass legal muster. In the first post of a two-parter, Marc updates us on some litigation. Read on.   Here’s one for you:  Did you hear the one about the employee that turned down the opportunity… Continue Reading

Maybe That Lawsuit Brought By Your Employee Isn’t So Frivolous

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

In yesterday’s post, I talked about some of the reasons why an employee’s lawsuit against his or her employer was destined for failure. But employers, I’m afraid you’re not off the hook that easily. This post is for any employer that just got sued or threatened with suit. Maybe that lawsuit isn’t so frivolous after all…. Continue Reading

Maybe That Discrimination Lawsuit Against Your Employer is Ill-Advised

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

As I approach the ninth anniversary of this blog this week (watch for that anniversary post soon), I’ve gotten a bit more reflective as well.  Some of that is personal circumstances I’ve mentioned before; perhaps some of it is age and experience. And I find myself wanting to speak directly to employees who have brought… Continue Reading

Big Settlement, Big Issues: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Isn’t Over.

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

$20,000,000.00. That, as they say in the legal parlance, is a crooked number with a LOT of zeros behind it. And that is also the reported amount of settlement between Gretchen Carlson and Fox News over her sexual harassment lawsuit.  Plus an unprecedented apology.  And it doesn’t take into account other cases of harassment that… Continue Reading

Shoddy Harassment Investigation Can Still Lead to Liability, Court Rules

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Welcome back from summer! Today, my colleague Gary Starr and I bring you the story of an employer that thought that it had done everything right — only to see it all go wrong.  Imagine this scenario: You, the employer, think you’ve taken all the right steps when hearing about a harassment complaint. You encourage… Continue Reading

How to Avoid Discrimination in Hiring, While Complying with Export Laws

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

My colleagues, Ashley Mendoza and Alfredo Fernandez, return today for a guest post today that shows that employment law issues can sometimes present themselves in different formats.  My thanks to the both of them in presenting a fairly advanced topic in a form that will hopefully be of interest to a few of you out… Continue Reading

New Model Rules Make It Unethical to Discriminate

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

As I have for over a decade now, I attended the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting last week serving on the ABA’s House of Delegates – the organization’s main governing body.  My exact position is actually State Delegate — a position that nominally makes the lead delegate of Connecticut’s delegation, though in practice it’s much… Continue Reading

Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

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

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But the Connecticut Supreme Court, as it has done before, was having none of it.  The end result of the case… Continue Reading

Sex Harassment in the Workplace: An Uptick in Cases, Awareness or Both?

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

The last few weeks it seems that I’ve been reading about sexual harassment in the workplace issues a lot more. Here are a few examples: Gretchen Carlson sues Fox News’ Roger Ailes. Suit Says Managing Partner Pressured Female Staff for Sex Sexual Harassment Still a Reality in the Workplace Interior chief: ‘Culture’ of sexual harassment… Continue Reading

Is There A Difference Between Firing Because of Age vs. Salary?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

Up on Fortune magazine’s column “Practically Speaking” is the following question: Frank has been with us for more than 20 years. He works in the warehouse and has done a good job for us. I like him. But, to be honest, for the work he performs I could easily replace him someone younger and …… Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Guidance on Employer-Provided Leave Under ADA

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

So, back in January, I penned a post titled “Can You Fire an Employee Who Has Exhausted FMLA Leave?” As if to respond, the EEOC yesterday released guidance that basically answers: Not necessarily, because it might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.  And that is the crux of the issue for employers. Before I go… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Modified “Ban the Box” Bill Approved in Connecticut

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

Remember “Ban the Box” and the fair chance employment bill from earlier in the session? Well, it passed last night. Sort of. An amendment to the original bill essentially wiped the prior version clean.  Thus, whatever you think you knew about the measure you can put that aside. What passed last night (House Bill 5237)… Continue Reading

EEOC: Bathroom Access Rights Guaranteed By Title VII

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

Last fall, I raised the issue of bathroom access for employees that corresponds with their gender identity. The issue, however, that seems to get the most press is restroom access. Indeed, we’re now getting federal guidance on how to deal with the issue of restroom access. That remains one of the bigger issues (a proposition up… Continue Reading

EEOC Requesting Information? Be Wary What You Tell Fellow Employees

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

Picture this scenario: You come into your office one morning to learn that an employee has filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claiming that you failed to accommodate his disability reasonably and then terminated his employment because of his disability. As if that isn’t challenging enough, many months afterwards,… Continue Reading

The Rights and Limitations of Associational Discrimination under the ADA

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

While a recent Second Circuit case received lots of headlines regarding its discussion of individual liability under FMLA, the case has some other nuggets for employers to understand, as my colleague Gary Starr explains in today’s post.  Buried in Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America case is a reference to the fact that the federal appeals… Continue Reading

New Complaint Highlights Continuing Battle over Pay Disparity by Gender in Sports

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

This morning came word that members of the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team are filing a discrimination complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation on the grounds that they are paid less than their male counterparts. According to press reports, “the filing, citing figures from the USSF’s 2015 financial report, says that despite the women’s team… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Persuader Rules, Class Action Lawsuits, Prevailing Party, E-mail Phishing

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Data Privacy, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

With Opening Day of baseball season nearly upon us, it’s time again to bring back a “Quick Hits” segment to recap a few noteworthy (but not completely post-worthy) employment law items you might have missed recently. The U.S. Department of Labor released the final version of new “persuader” rules which will become effective April 25,… Continue Reading

Connecticut District Court Allows Transgender Discrimination Claim to Proceed Under Title VII & CFEPA

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

In an decision of first impression in Connecticut, a federal court on Friday ruled that a transgender discrimination claim based on a failure to hire can proceed under both Title VII and Connecticut’s counterpart, CFEPA. While the groundbreaking decision in Fabian v. Hospital of Central Connecticut (download here)  is sure to be the subject of… Continue Reading

Hostile Work Environment Creator, Equal Opportunity Offender or Something Else?

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

You work for a privately-owned multinational conglomerate with a high-profile CEO who loves Twitter and can’t stop talking. And that CEO, outside of work, has been critical of lots of people. In doing so, however, the CEO has made particular comments about certain women, comments such as: “She wanted to breast pump in front of… Continue Reading

Scalia’s Employment Law Legacy: More Complicated Than You Think

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

About a decade ago, I had the good fortune to sit at a table with Justice Antonin Scalia over a long lunch. He was a distinguished speaker for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and, as a former Chair of the that group, I lucked out in my seating arrangements. I remember my… Continue Reading

Can You Love Employment Law and Love Valentine’s Day?

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

For years, I’ve been “warning” about the upcoming holiday of Valentine’s Day. Back in 2011, I recapped several cases where employees’ inappropriate behavior on this day of love, led to lawsuits. Apparently, there were some people who didn’t read the blog, because just a few years after that, I recapped a few more cases where… Continue Reading

Can You Fire An Employee Who Has Exhausted FMLA Leave?

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

An employee of yours goes out on medical leave. Suppose that you only have to abide by the federal FMLA law.  After 12 weeks, the employee is still out. Can you simply fire the employee? Well, the U.S. Department of Labor says “yes”.  Sort of. As part of a Q&A on the subject, the DOL… Continue Reading

An Explainer Video on OWBPA-Compliant Separation Agreements

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

As I keep trying new things for the blog, today I introduce an “explainer” video.  You’ve seen them before; it’s a short movie explaining a subject. Today’s topic is one I’ve touched on from time to time — separation agreements that comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. Let me know what you think… Continue Reading

EEOC Pushes to Expand Title VII’s Reach to Sexual Orientation Claims

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

When you’ve been blogging as long as Jon Hyman (of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog) and I have, your minds seem to work in a similar fashion. For a few days, I’ve been working on a draft of a blog post about the EEOC’s goal of expanding Title VII’s reach to include sexual orientation discrimination claims. … Continue Reading