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Category Archives: Litigation

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Settling FLSA Wage & Hour Claims? Court Approval May Be Needed

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

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk at the Connecticut Legal Conference about employment law issues. My talk focused on free speech rights in the workplace — a topic I’ve covered well in some prior posts here and here, for example. One of the other topics of our discussion was the Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake… 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

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the court showed what happens in 4-4 splits: Nothing. Well, that’s not entirely accurate:… Continue Reading

Individual Employees Can Be Sued For FMLA Violations, Court Rules

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

It’s been a big couple of days for court opinions. Today’s turn: FMLA lawsuits. When we last talked about the FMLA, it was in the context of the fact that sometimes things about the law are bit complicated. Well, if you didn’t like the intricacies of the FMLA before, this new decision isn’t going to… 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

Independent Contractor Ruling: A Deeper Dive

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

As I return from some time off, my colleagues, Gary Starr and Chris Engler, have dug a bit deeper into the Connecticut Supreme Court decision from last week and issued this alert which we have also sent to clients.  A deeply divided Connecticut Supreme Court recently issued a long-awaited decision, Standard Oil v. Administrator, regarding… Continue Reading

BREAKING: CT Supreme Court Gives Employers Using Independent Contractors A Big Victory

Posted in Featured, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Late this morning, the Connecticut Supreme Court released one of its most important decisions on employment law in years. I’ve been talking about it prior posts but its decision is a welcome surprise for employers who feared the worst.  Because I’m out of the office for a few days, I’ve asked my colleague Chris Engler… Continue Reading

Lunch with the Boss Now Protected Concerted Activity?

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

My colleagues Gary Starr and Jarad Lucan return today with a post that we have sent out as client alert, but which may be of interest to readers of the blog as well.  It tackles the subject of protected concerted activity.  (Hint: It may be broader than you think.) Is a non-union employee who speaks… Continue Reading

What Ever Happened To….The Pension Lawsuit Against CIGNA?

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation

One of the cases I’ve covered on this blog since the beginning, was a lawsuit challenging CIGNA’s change from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan. In plain English, it was basically (and I’m oversimplifying) a conversion from a pension plan to a 401(k) plan. That case has gone all the way… Continue Reading

Ch-Ch-Changes? Mandatory Fees for Public Employees At Issue Before the Supreme Court

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

First things first. My favorite David Bowie song is “Heroes” (though I remember really being struck by its use in the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge). But the Bowie song that comes to mind today for various reasons is “Changes” and how it ties into another big story of the day — an oral argument before… Continue Reading

Win Some, Lose Some: Drug Testing Statutes Tricky to Navigate

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

Connecticut’s drug testing statutes applicable to employers have always been a bit tricky to follow.  I covered the basics of these laws back in 2010 (you’ve been reading that long, right?). For job applicants, employers must follow certain rules. Once an applicant becomes an employee, a new set of more stringent rules apply. But to… Continue Reading

Anonymous Threats in Workplace Don’t Give Employers Free Pass to Ignore

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

As I return from an extended absence for the Thanksgiving holiday, my colleagues Gary Starr and Gabe Jiran share this alert about anonymous threats in the workplace based on a recent Circuit Court decision.  Employee complaints based on anonymous harassment pose special problems for employers.  How do you uncover the source of the problem when… Continue Reading

When Employee Models for Playgirl, Harassment May Be “Because of Sex”

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Late last month, a federal court in Connecticut took another look at the prohibition of discrimination “because of sex” with a case that has all the elements of a “can you believe it” fact-pattern that will surely be used for harassment training going forward. The case involves a male employee posed for Playgirl nearly two decades… Continue Reading

When Parent Has Been Unlawfully Fired, Can Kids Sue Employer? Court Overrules Precedent

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

The Connecticut Law Tribune reported earlier this month on a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that, for the first time, allowed claims brought by kids to proceed based on injuries suffered by their parents. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have a new weapon in their arsenal. The state Supreme Court, in a split decision, has ruled that Connecticut… Continue Reading

Despite Ruling, Free Speech Statute Continues To Offers Some Defenses

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

In two prior posts this week here and here, I talked about the significance of a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that has expanded the free speech rights of employees in the workplace. For more on the case itself, check out these articles from the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune But do employers… Continue Reading

Expanding Employee Free Speech Rights: How Bad Is the Court’s Decision for Employers?

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

In yesterday’s post, I alerted you to a new Connecticut Supreme Court decision (Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC) that expanded employee free speech rights under the Connecticut Constitution. But I wanted some time to think about the answer to the following question: How much did the court expand it? And to that question, there… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Connecticut Supreme Court Expands Employee Free Speech Claims

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

In an unanimous decision that was released late this morning, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the limits to free speech limits established by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Garcetti decision — namely that speech pursuant to an employee’s official job duties was not protected — did not apply to claims brought under the Connecticut… Continue Reading

Eight Years Later: Three Big Changes in Employment Law

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

2007 seems like yesterday. And yet, eight years after I started this blog and over 1800 posts later (and a Hall of Fame entry), I’m pretty sure 2007 WASN’T yesterday. So for this year’s anniversary post, I thought I would capture what I think are some of the biggest storylines from the last eight years. … Continue Reading

Impact of NLRB’s Joint Employer Decision in Connecticut Still To Be Determined

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

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, who has been busy with his own labor cases, today returns with post about the latest from the NLRB.  There are many posts out there on the subject (here, here, and here, for example), so Jarad is going to touch on its impact for Connecticut employers.   As you’ve no doubt… Continue Reading

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

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

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