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Category Archives: Litigation

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Silence May Not Be Golden When It Comes to the ADA’s Interactive Process

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

My colleague Gary Starr sits next to my office and sometimes we bounce ideas off each other. One of the things we were talking about recently was a new case that discussed an employer’s obligations to enter into the interactive process.   This often comes up in ADA cases where the employee may need a reasonable accommodation…. Continue Reading

Employer Can Refuse to Pay Commissions After Termination — Under Certain Conditions

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

Thanks to all who came to our Labor & Employment seminar on Thursday. Our biggest crowd yet. In it, we talked about the importance of offer letters.  Marc Herman returns today with a post updating us on a recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision that came out while I was on vacation a while back that… Continue Reading

Hiring Without Headaches – A Possibility or Fantasy?

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

So this week, I’ll be speaking at our firm’s semi-annual Labor & Employment Law seminar.  Amazingly, we have reached capacity for this event and are now taking names for a waiting list! Many thanks to all who have signed up.  It should be a lot of fun. Frequent blog contributor (and, well, a colleague) Chris… Continue Reading

Well Well: Court Sides with Employer in Latest Wellness Program Battle (Part 1)

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

My colleague Marc Herman returns today to bring back the story of wellness programs and whether they will continue to pass legal muster. In the first post of a two-parter, Marc updates us on some litigation. Read on.   Here’s one for you:  Did you hear the one about the employee that turned down the opportunity… Continue Reading

Maybe That Lawsuit Brought By Your Employee Isn’t So Frivolous

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

In yesterday’s post, I talked about some of the reasons why an employee’s lawsuit against his or her employer was destined for failure. But employers, I’m afraid you’re not off the hook that easily. This post is for any employer that just got sued or threatened with suit. Maybe that lawsuit isn’t so frivolous after all…. Continue Reading

Maybe That Discrimination Lawsuit Against Your Employer is Ill-Advised

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

As I approach the ninth anniversary of this blog this week (watch for that anniversary post soon), I’ve gotten a bit more reflective as well.  Some of that is personal circumstances I’ve mentioned before; perhaps some of it is age and experience. And I find myself wanting to speak directly to employees who have brought… Continue Reading

Big Settlement, Big Issues: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Isn’t Over.

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

$20,000,000.00. That, as they say in the legal parlance, is a crooked number with a LOT of zeros behind it. And that is also the reported amount of settlement between Gretchen Carlson and Fox News over her sexual harassment lawsuit.  Plus an unprecedented apology.  And it doesn’t take into account other cases of harassment that… Continue Reading

Shoddy Harassment Investigation Can Still Lead to Liability, Court Rules

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Welcome back from summer! Today, my colleague Gary Starr and I bring you the story of an employer that thought that it had done everything right — only to see it all go wrong.  Imagine this scenario: You, the employer, think you’ve taken all the right steps when hearing about a harassment complaint. You encourage… Continue Reading

Firing Of Pot-Smoking State Employee Goes Up in Smoke by CT Supreme Court

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

You might think that smoking pot on the job as a state employee would be justifiable grounds to get you fired. A no-brainer, right? (Let’s save a discussion for eating brownies and swearing at your cat for another blog post.) After all, even the Connecticut Supreme Court is stating that the “statutory, regulatory and decisional… Continue Reading

Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

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

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But the Connecticut Supreme Court, as it has done before, was having none of it.  The end result of the case… Continue Reading

New Pay Secrecy Law Finds a Place in Court With Lawsuit

Posted in Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Well, it was bound to happen.  After nine years of writing the blog on a near daily schedule, some work and personal commitments interfered with my blog writing schedule. But never fear, more new posts from me are now right around the corner. In the meantime, one of our summer associates, James Joyce, joins the… Continue Reading

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