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Category Archives: Highlight

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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

Free Speech in the Workplace Gets Another Day in Court

Posted in Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Tomorrow, the Connecticut Supreme Court will hear arguments in Trusz v. UBS. It’s case I’ve mentioned before and even made a prediction about the case back at the start of the year. I’m not going to discuss it in detail because I and my colleagues here at the firm wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Connecticut… Continue Reading

BREAKING: NLRB’s General Counsel Office Issues Important Report On Employer Rules

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Social Media

The NLRB’s General Counsel’s office today released a lengthy report “concerning recent employer rule” cases. That sounds generic. It’s not. Rather, the NLRB is now outlining its views on otherwise-neutral employer policies and whether they could be deemed to violate federal labor law.  While part of the report is a recap of existing caselaw, this… Continue Reading

The Legal Ramifications of…. Your Workplace Kitchen?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I was listening the other day to one of my favorite podcasts (well, favorite besides Serial) called The Gist.  Mike Pesca, formerly of NPR, spends about 30 minutes each day on topics both big and small. And on a recent podcast, he tackled….wait for it….the workplace kitchen. Turns out there’s another podcast — the Sporkful – which… Continue Reading

Vacation Daze: Leave ‘Em Alone

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Last week was the first time in the seven year history of this blog that no blog posts were uploaded. Why? Vacation. It’s been a long cold winter and my wife and I were able to corral our kids for some much needed warm-weather rest and relaxation — after a very challenging year. As it turns out,… Continue Reading

Connecticut Law May Force Employer to Transfer Pregnant Employee

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

So, in yesterday’s post, I alerted you to a portion of the state’s pregnancy discrimination law that you may not have been aware of, namely Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46a-60(a)(7)(E).  If you haven’t read it yet, I’d suggest you do so for background for today’s post. But after yesterday’s post, you may be wondering, is this… Continue Reading

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

If the CHRO Ran the Legislature: Agency Proposals On Deck

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

As the legislative session continues to roll around, sometimes you can get caught up in bills that have no chance of getting passed. For example, the General Assembly — as presented structured — will never pass a bill making Connecticut a Right to Work state. But when the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities… 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

Less May Be More When It Comes To Job References

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

My colleague Chris Engler returns today with a recap of a new case in Connecticut that is of particular interest to employers who provide (or don’t provide) employment references. We have all heard the admonition that “less is more.” In an opinion that will be released next week, the Connecticut Appellate Court reminds us just… 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

BLIZZARD! Wage and Hour Reminders for Employers on Winter Storm

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

Well, it’s official.  Connecticut is under a Blizzard Warning as of Sunday afternoon. This is, of course, nothing new for employers in the state. We’ve had more than our fair share of big “monster” storms. If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’ll have read more than your share of blog posts about… Continue Reading

Use of Marijuana On Duty Still Justifies Termination, Says Court

Posted in Highlight

With all the talk about the state’s implementation of medical marijuana laws, it’s easy to wonder what impact those laws will have on terminating employees who use marijuana on the job. One recent Superior Court decision gave a pretty clear answer for state employees: None.  In other words, for employers: Fire Away. That, of course, simplifies… Continue Reading

Updated Paid Sick Leave Guidance and Poster Issued by Connecticut Department of Labor

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Somewhat quietly (at least to me), the Connecticut Department of Labor has issued updated guidance regarding compliance with the state’s Paid Sick Leave law. But employers who have been following the developments in this area — namely the changes to the law by the legislature — won’t be surprised much by the minor changes that… Continue Reading

Name that Party When Represented by Counsel, Says the Court

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Litigation

What’s in a name? To a recent Superior Court decision, everything. But only if you have been represented by counsel. Confused? Let’s backup for a second. A prerequisite to filing a discrimination claim in state court is that the employee file the same claim before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  This includes, in… Continue Reading

Since You Asked: A Modest Wage & Hour Law Proposal

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

Yesterday on Twitter, a Connecticut legislator posted this: “There oughta be a law…!” Hey Connecticut, legislators have 5 days to submit ideas for bills. What new laws should the #CTLeg consider? — Matt Lesser (@MattLesser) January 12, 2015 State Representative Matt Lesser, be careful what you ask for. But since you asked, here’s a modest… 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

A Look Ahead: Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Rockets Upward

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

On New Year’s Day, I had the opportunity to launch model rockets with my son on a gorgeous (but very cold) day. As it turns out, it was also a windy day.  We discovered this through launching two rockets super high — only to see them carried away deep into the woods a mile away…. Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Three Bold Predictions in Employment Law for 2015

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

Every year, I break out a crystal ball, or a magic 8-ball, or some tea leaves, and make some pronouncement about what will happen in the upcoming year. It’s sort of a no-lose proposition. If I’m right, well, then I pat myself on the back. If I’m wrong, well, it’s just an educated guess. So,… Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Program

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

With 2014 coming to a close, it’s time to look ahead at some of the issues that we’re likely to see discussed in 2015. One such issue is a Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Program in Connecticut.  The origins of this come from a 2013 special act which created a task force to study the… 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

NLRB and the “Purple” Crayon: NLRB Rewrites Its Decision on Employer E-mail

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

The NLRB, right now, is union-friendly. We know it. Employers know it. Politicians know it. The unions know it. It’s stacked 3-2 with Democrat appointees so the NLRB taking its training wheels off and is doing what it has always done. It has shifted its decisions based on the politics. Yesterday represented just the latest… 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