Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Tag Archives: appellate court

“Consider” This Important: Employment Contracts Are a Two-Way Street

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

My colleague Chris Engler reports today on a new Connecticut Appellate Court case that focuses on a often misunderstood concept in employment contracts — the need for “consideration”.  What was it that Dire Straits’ sang about in the 1980s? Getting “Money for Nothing”? We’ve all been told that you can’t get something for nothing.  That… Continue Reading

Court: Contract That Allows Employer to Raise Employee’s Salary Also Means No Decreases

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

So, remember back in February where I noted that employers ought to “consider having an attorney review some of your [employment] agreements … [because sometimes,] poor drafting can sometimes be avoided by having an attorney involved”? We have another appellate court case that emphasizes that point quiet well in Stratford v. Winterbottom. The case involves a town… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds Summary Judgment for Employer

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Not every case that comes out from the Connecticut Appellate Court makes headlines. Take the case of Walker v. Department of Children & Families, a new case that will be officially released next week (download here). It is a fairly ordinary discrimination case — albeit a rare one where the employer has been successful on… Continue Reading

What Happens AFTER a Remand from the Appellate Court?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Last year, I posted about a disability discrimination that was remanded, in part, back to the Superior Court level.   Would this result in at least a partial victory for the employer?  And more importantly, what would happen on a remand to the lower court? I noted back then the Court did uphold “most of a $500K+… Continue Reading

Just Give Me a Reason: Court Clarifies Burden-Shifting Standards

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

With apologies to P!nk (and her hit, “Just Give Me a Reason”), a new court decision gives new meaning to the phrase.  Before we get to that, longtime readers of the blog will no doubt be familiar with the burden-shifting analysis that courts use to analyze discrimination cases.  First, the employee must meet a “prima… Continue Reading

Appellate Court: Tenured Teachers May be Terminated for “Disability” Without Violating CFEPA

Posted in Highlight, Litigation

The Connecticut Appellate Court yesterday released two notable employment law decisions. They won’t become “official” until April 30, 2013, so you have some time to digest them.  I’ll cover one today and leave the other for a future post (though if you’re really curious you can read it here.) To me, the more interesting of… Continue Reading

Lying to Doctors for Fitness for Duty Exam Can Still Get You Fired… But Only If You’re a Police Officer

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

Sometimes, cases that seem like a no-brainer are anything but.  Just ask the Town of Stratford which finally won an appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court. The case, Stratford v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 15 (download here), will be officially released next week.  The case arises from the town’s termination of a… Continue Reading

The Never-Ending Employment Law Case and the Hour-Long Commute

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

Some cases are easy to explain in a short blog post. This is not one of them. But a new Connecticut Appellate Court case released today, Grasso v. Connecticut Hospice, Inc. (download here)  has too many nuggets of information to pass up.  It is an example to employers about how cases never truly seem to… Continue Reading

The Zombie Cases: Why Defending Employment Lawsuits Can Be So Expensive

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

How many times do you have to win? That’s a question that employers may ask themselves when dealing with employment cases because the fact is, a enterprising litigant can make things quite expensive on the thinnest of facts.  Indeed, employers may be wondering if these cases are like zombies that rise up from the dead to… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Releases Trio of Important Employment Law Cases

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

The Connecticut Appellate Court released three significant employment law decisions on Monday — one of the busiest days in recent memory for the court. For employers, the cases are a mixed bag but do provide some useful practice pointers. City Sheriff Was Not an “Employee” Entitled to Statutory Protection  In Young v. Bridgeport, the Court ruled that… Continue Reading

Court: Employee’s Complaint Trumps Performance Issues

Posted in Litigation

It will come as no surprise to employers that summary judgment (essentially, throwing out a case before trial) in employment cases in state court is hard to get.  State judges are typically reluctant to grant such a motion, which means cases get scheduled for trial — an expensive and uncertain proposition at best for employers. … Continue Reading

Choose Your Own Takeaway from Appellate Court Decision

Posted in Litigation

When people come up to me to talk about the blog, one of the things that often gets discussed is “How do you pick things to write about?” Often times, I tell them, it comes easily. But a new Appellate Court decision, Johnson v. Board of Education — a decision that will be officially released… Continue Reading

Appellate Court’s Footnote Suggests Faults in CHRO’s Interpretation of Emotional Distress Damages

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment

Back in February 2009, I talked at length about whether compensatory damages (for things such as emotional distress) was properly awarded in employment discrimination claims that proceeded to a hearing at the CHRO.  I went on to say back then that I believed the agency and the human rights referees at the agency had been… Continue Reading

Court: Failure to Follow Training Program Does Not Give Rise to Breach of Contract Claim

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

In a decision to be officially released tomorrow, the Connecticut Appellate Court has affirmed a dismissal of a breach of contract claim that alleged that the company failed to follow procedures that were outlined in a management training seminar.  The case, Brule v. Nerac (download here), is important because it sets some limits to a… Continue Reading

Appellate Court: Trial Court Was Wrong To Deny Summary Judgment Without Oral Argument on Res Judicata Issue

Posted in Litigation

There is an unspoken truth about the Superior Courts in Connecticut: Summary judgment for employers in employment-related claims is typically a long shot. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. A case to be released by the Connecticut Appellate Court next week shows the difficulty but also shows that at least with regard to… Continue Reading

“If You Don’t Quit (and Sign a Release), You’re Fired”: Court Upholds Agreement; Says It Is Not “Undue Influence”

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

From time to time, employers are faced with a quandary: When an employee has not been following the rules, do I fire the employee straight up? Or do I give the employee an opportunity to resign first, and potentially sign a settlement agreement? Why might an employer do that? Well, it allows the employee to save face… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Decision Provides Another Lesson About Preserving Data

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

As I’ve noted before, the appellate courts in Connecticut release their decisions in advance of an "official" publication date for various reasons. I’ve now read over the Appellate Court’s upcoming decision in Paylan v. St. Mary’s Hospital Corp. a few times  trying to discern the big lesson for employers to take from this employment discrimination… Continue Reading

The “Brown Paper Bag” of Appellate Court Decisions: Court Affirms Sexual Harassment Verdict

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

I’m sometimes asked how I report on employment law cases in such a prompt manner.  There’s no magic formula but I will let you in on a little shortcut I use to skim a series of new cases. Instead of reading an entire case, my eyes first glance at the listed attorneys in the case…. Continue Reading

Say What? Employee Claims Court Does Not Have Jurisdiction to Hear Retaliation Claim He Brought In First Place

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another case comes around to prove that theory incorrect. The latest example is Ayantola v. Board of Trustees of Technical Colleges (download here), a Connecticut Appellate Court decision officially released today. In the case, an employee who claimed he was not promoted in retaliation for earlier discrimination… Continue Reading

Are Connecticut Courts Still Instructing Juries Using a McDonnell-Douglas Analysis? The Unanswered Question

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Appellate Court decisions can be frustrating.  Every once in a while, instead of deciding the merits of the matter, the court will reject an appeal because a party did not "preserve" the issue at the lower courts through a proper protest.  That’s what happened in Mokonnen v. Pro Park, Inc. (download here)  from the Connecticut Appellate… Continue Reading