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Category Archives: Highlight

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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

“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

Predicting the Future? Proposal Would Require Set Schedules by Employers Or Else

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

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard lots of grumbling about the employment law proposals being floated at the Connecticut General Assembly.  But it wasn’t until recently, that I understood how serious one proposal is. Last week, proponents of House Bill 6933 held a press conference to have the legislature pass a measure requiring employers to post… Continue Reading

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Supreme Court’s Decision on Conciliation a Yawn for Connecticut Employers

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EEOC has a duty to conciliate that has go a bit beyond words before filing suit as a party.  In the case, EEOC v. Mach Mining (download here), the employer argued that the EEOC cannot just say that it has tried to resolve the matter through conciliation;… Continue Reading

When Reviewing a Reinstatement Decision by an Arbitrator, Consider Over a Dozen Factors

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

If you like getting lost on roads with your head spinning on which way to go, this is your post.  (Everyone else, well, try to keep up.) I recap a case for companies with unions to pay attention to. Let’s start with this example: Employee X is required by law to report suspected abuse in her job. She fails… 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

Hiring Without Employment Law Headaches: Five Tips for Employers

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

On Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to the Human Resource Association of Greater New Haven. My sincere thanks to them for the invitation. The group asked me to talk about various legal traps employers face in the hiring process and solutions to avoiding those issues.  Here are some of the points we talked… Continue Reading

I’ve Got a Secret: Recordings in the Workplace

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

I’ve talked before about the use of recordings in the workplace. But this week, my colleague Jarad Lucan revisits the subject in light of some new decisions and the increasing presence of smartphones in the workplace. It is a safe bet that most if not all of your employees own a mobile or smart phone.  It… 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

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Wellness Program Rules

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

Late last week, the EEOC released the proposed rules on wellness programs for employers.  These long-awaited proposed rules will likely be adopted in full by this summer, after the public has 60 days to submit comments. I talked about this in a post last fall and even in a post back in 2011.  But now, we… 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

Bill Amending CHRO Procedures Is “Mostly” Dead

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

If you read the headlines this morning, you may have seen that nearly four dozen bills died at the Judiciary Committee yesterday afternoon.  Indeed, no bills made it out at the deadline. The unusual occurrence seemed related to an e-mail allegedly written by one representative. The Hartford Courant has the details on that. For employers,… 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

Consistency in Policy Application Critical for Employers

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

As I talked in yesterday’s post, I moderated a community forum on Religion and the Workplace at my firm. We had a terrific crowd and I’m grateful to all the speakers for making time out of their busy days to come. I have posted on this blog before about some of things we talked about… 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

“Just Give Me a Reason” Not Enough to Satisfy Just Cause Provision

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

I’m a big P!nk (yes, the exclamation point) fan. One of her most recent hits, is a song “Just Give Me A Reason”. Somehow, reading a new Appellate Court case that will be officially released tomorrow, this song title kept sticking in my brain. The case, Madigan v. Housing Authority of East Hartford (download here), revolves… Continue Reading

Although Unconstitutional, Employment Blue Laws Are Remnant of Old System

Posted in Featured, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

UPDATED: Since the initial post, the CTDOL website has been updated to reflect a change in the law. The post has been updated to reflect these changes.  With all the talk about religious “freedom” this week in the news and the holidays upon us this weekend, I wish I had something more profound to write… 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

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