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Category Archives: Highlight

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CHRO Right to Sue Letter Enough to Bring Federal Discrimination Claims to Court

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

In catching up over some interesting employment law cases from 2015, I came across Lennon v. Dolce Vida Medical Spa (download here).  You would be forgiven if you missed it because it’s an unreported Superior Court decision on a seemingly-technical issue. But, if followed by other courts, it has a notable twist. First, the simple… Continue Reading

After Hours iPhone and Android Use By Employees Raises Wage/Hour Concerns (Again!)

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

So, you remember February 2009, right? We were all aflutter over Liam Neeson in Taken (ok, I still haven’t seen it).  And we were listening to “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson (still a good song.) And I had a Blackberry Bold and loved it. (I know; even lawyers can plead temporary… Continue Reading

Trivia Time for HR Professionals – Six Questions of the Day

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Featured, Highlight, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

I recently was invited the join the “Learned League”, which has been described by the Washington Post as the “coolest, weirdest Internet community you’ll never be able to join.” Needless to say, now that I’m participating in it, I’m wondering if I’m either cool or weird or both. The league is a hodge-podge of various… Continue Reading

The Real Battle over Independent Contractors and the ABC Test In Connecticut

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

You’ve no doubt heard lots about how the U.S. Department of Labor is cracking down on independent contractors.  I’ve recapped it before and my former colleague, Jonathan Orleans, has a new post regarding Uber & electricians. But in my view, there is a larger, more important battle now being fought in Connecticut and you may… Continue Reading

Grieving and Bereavement Leaves in Connecticut

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Yesterday, I learned of the passing of a friend, Robert Gulomb, the beloved husband of Livia Barndollar – the former President of the Connecticut Bar Association, and a friend and mentor as well.   Robert passed away peacefully after a long illness. I last saw Robert in the hospital earlier this month, but that’s not how I’ll remember him.  My… Continue Reading

When Labeling An Employee “Male” May Not Be Good Enough Anymore

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

The rapid pace of the country’s openness to discuss issues of gender identity (and no, this isn’t going to be an article about Caitlyn Jenner) has actually led to a rise in the use of words to describe situations that you may not have thought of before. Recently I came across the term “cisgender male”… Continue Reading

When Cancer Strikes: What Happens AFTER You Run Out of Paid Time Off

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

I’d much rather write about a legal topic than a personal one, but before I talk about the logistics of handling an employee who has exhausted their paid time off, I wanted to share a brief personal update. Last November, I shared with you my wife’s diagnosis and treatment for cancer.  Because she is a… Continue Reading

Implicit Bias: Is Expert Testimony Admissible in Discrimination Cases?

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

So yesterday, I said that while the topic of implicit bias was important to understand, I indicated that it was far from settled in the legal context. One recent case demonstrates why. The plaintiffs in an age discrimination case in Pittsburgh attempted to introduce testimony from Dr. Anthony G. Greenwald, who has developed the “Implicit… Continue Reading

Implicit Bias: What We Can ALL Learn About It in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

After the longest break away from this blog in 8 years (some purposeful, some not — and albeit not very long), it’s time to break from the summer doldrums and start thinking again. Last week, I had the opportunity to introduce a former law professor of mine — Professor Kimberly Norwood — at my firm’s… Continue Reading

When Your Model Employee Isn’t Anymore

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

I loved Bill Cosby. When we first got cable TV as a kid, I must have watched his movie “Himself” a few dozen times after school. His “Chocolate Cake” routine was even something I showed my kids a few years ago. And I don’t think I missed many episodes of his sitcom either. When the… Continue Reading

A Vacation Perspective: The “Waterfall” Noise of Employment Law

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

The first day back from vacation is always fun. And by fun, I mean “not fun AT ALL.” There’s the e-mails. And the voicemails. And the things that you should’ve gotten done before vacation that you really honestly tried to do, but well, you just couldn’t. And then there’s the news and other “information” that… Continue Reading

No Vacation for Employment Law: New “Interpretation” for Independent Contractors Issued by USDOL

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

Whatever happened to summer vacation? You remember, that downtime, when nothing much happened? First, there were new proposed OT rules. Then, word came out EARLY (I got an alert at 6a!) today that the U.S. Department of Labor issued new “guidance” that will try to limit the misclassification of employees as indpendent contractors. The goal… Continue Reading

Connecticut to Tighten Data Privacy Requirements

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

With news of yet another breach of personnel data of nearly 21 million Americans yesterday, I invited my colleague William Roberts, to chime in with an update on a new law in Connecticut that updates data privacy requirements in the state. Bill heads up our Privacy and Data Protection team here and works a lot… Continue Reading

DOL’s Internship Test Rejected by Second Circuit Creating Conflict with New Connecticut Law

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

Did you enjoy the fireworks last week? I’m not talking about the real Independence Day fireworks; rather, it’s a new Second Circuit decision that should have employment lawyers popping this morning. For a while, we’ve been talking about interns.  Indeed, back in 2013, I talked about how a wage/hour case involving interns on the movie… Continue Reading

Details of New Overtime Regulations Released Monday Night

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

On Monday night, details of the revised white-collar overtime regulations were released. But we’ll know more once the actual details get posted on the Department of Labor website on Tuesday. (Bloomberg was the first to report it Monday evening.) (Update 6/30/15: The proposed regulations are now available online from the U.S. Department of Labor here.)… Continue Reading

Paid Family & Medical Leave Program and CHRO Changes Get Revived in Budget Implementer

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

The Connecticut General Assembly is finalizing its budget implementation bill today and suffice to say that there are more than a few surprises in there. (CT News Junkie first highlighted it in a tweet, it should be noted.) For employers, buried deep in the bill is Section 422 entitled: “PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE IMPLEMENTATION”. … Continue Reading

The “Number Two” Reason on How to Avoid GINA Liability

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

My colleague, Marc Herman, returns today to talk about a subject that doesn’t get a lot of attention but may as the technology makes genetic information more accessible.  But just because it’s more accessible, doesn’t make it right. Particularly if you suspect something “smelly” in your workplace.  It’s not often that it comes up, but… Continue Reading

Can Employee Display a Confederate Flag on Facebook as Free Speech? Or Can Employer Take Action?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

There’s been lots of talk lately about the Confederate flag and its symbolism in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings. But I wondered: How has this flag come up in the context of employment discrimination cases? It’s actually referenced a bunch according to a quick search by Google.  A case out of Alabama alleged a… Continue Reading

Intern Anti-Discrimination Bill Signed By Governor

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

Capitol Watch – The Hartford Courant’s political site – tweeted the following yesterday: Gov. Malloy has signed a bill protecting interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. — Capitol Watch (@capitolwatch) June 22, 2015 And a review of the Governor’s website reflects that approval in the bill notification release. (I read them so you don’t have… Continue Reading

CBA Annual Meeting Employment Law Recap: Ways to Avoid Getting Sued

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

No one will ever mistake the Connecticut Legal Conference, run by the Connecticut Bar Association, for, say a glitzy gaming conference. But if you were fortunate to attend, you had the opportunity to hear some pretty good speakers talk about employment law for several hours. Among the topics were a discussion on the Ellen Pao… Continue Reading

Revisiting Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA — Being “Effective”

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

What does it really mean to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who has a disability? That’s a question I talk about a bunch with clients.  The employee may request one thing but the employer may think that another accommodation can accomplish close to the same thing, perhaps at a lower cost.  Who wins?… Continue Reading

Can You Still Have Dress Codes After Abercrombie Decision?

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

I’m not a fan of click-bait, so if you clicked the headline just to know whether your company can still have a dress code policy after the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the answer is “yes”. But there’s an important caveat and for that, you’ll need to read on. The Court’s… Continue Reading

MOVE Act Introduced; Non-Compete Agreements Would Be Limited, if Passed

Posted in Highlight, Legislative Developments

While I normally make my year-end reflections at, well, year end, I can’t help but take this moment to see the big picture: We’re hearing an awful lot about restrictive covenants. These covenants — often in the shape of non-compete clauses or non-solicitation (of employees or customers) clauses — have become popular because companies are… Continue Reading

Back from the Dead: Procedural Changes Coming to CHRO and New Protections for Domestic Workers

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

So in a post earlier on Friday, I recapped most of the employment law legislation that passed — except one. That bill, Senate Bill 446, was titled “AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM “DOMESTIC WORKER”.   Innocuous enough, right? But as it turns out, that bill was used as a cover to pass through… Continue Reading