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Category Archives: Litigation

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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

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

BREAKING – U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Motive, Not Knowledge, Is Critical in Disparate Treatment Cases

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

The long-awaited EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch case was released by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning, reversing the Tenth Circuit’s decision. You can download it here. For anyone following the case, the decision shouldn’t come as a big surprise.  I’ve talked about the case before here and here. The main holding of the case… Continue Reading

No Specific Statute Cited in a Pleading? No Problem, Says the Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

It is commonly understood that Connecticut is mainly a “fact-pleading” state when it comes to the court system. What does that mean? Well, Norm Pattis, in a 2013 Law Tribune column, described the significance in calling for the state to change the way plaintiffs file their lawsuits. You recall the distinction, don’t you, between notice… Continue Reading

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

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

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

“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

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

Consistency in Arguments is Key for Labor Arbitrations

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today to recap a notable labor case that the Connecticut Appellate court decided this week (but officially released on March 24, 2015).  It’s worth a read, even for non-union types, if only to show the importance of consistency in arguments. A recent Appellate Court case, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Council 4, Local… 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 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

New Retaliation Standard of Proof Shows Its Teeth

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

When the U.S. Supreme Court changed the standard for proving retaliation cases back in 2013, there was some speculation as to whether the standard would result in different decisions. Before the court’s decision, employees who claimed they were retaliated against, needed to show only that the retaliatory motive was a “substantial or motivating fact” affecting… 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

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

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