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

Tag Archives: discrimination

Guest Post: A Law Professor’s — and Mother’s — Perpsective on Race

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

After my first year in law school, I clerked for Professor Kimberly Norwood at Washington University in St. Louis Law School during the summer. (If editing a law review article on statute of limitations is your thing, the experience was nirvana — I even made it to a footnote.)  We’ve kept in touch since then and have… Continue Reading

Peanut Allergies Can Be Disabilities But Analysis Must Run Deeper

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment

Earlier this week, ABC News reported on the story of a woman who had severe peanut allergies who alleged that she was denied a job at a hospital because of those allergies.  I appreciated ABC News reaching out to me for comment. The facts of the story are frankly a bit unclear, so as I… Continue Reading

New CHRO Case Statistics Show Big Jump In Claims Filed in Last Year

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities released a new set of statistics yesterday (my thanks to CHRO liaison James O’Neill for the update which I had requested a while back).  Unlike years past, the statistics this year show some dramatic changes; those changes should have a significant impact on how employers view the agency… Continue Reading

Accommodating Employees’ Religious Beliefs: A Primer on “Sincerely Held”

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

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides protection to closely held corporations to refuse, for religious reasons, to provide birth control methods and services to employees under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, the issue of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs has… Continue Reading

The Employment Law Exemption for “Religious Corporations” You Never Knew About

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

Over the past month, after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, much has been made in the press about how it is unprecedented for the court to consider a company’s religious beliefs in making its decisions. The issue of taking into account a corporation’s religious belief in the workplace has been also catapulted to the center of… Continue Reading

EEOC Declines a “Pregnant” Pause; New Guidance Awaits Supreme Court Decision

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

Last week, my colleagues Peter Murphy and Harrison Smith, offered to write about the latest developments in the law regarding pregnancy.  The post was scheduled to come out today, when, much to our surprise, the EEOC yesterday afternoon released long-awaited guidance on the subject. So much for that post! After a quick rewrite last night,… Continue Reading

Married Men with Stay-at-Home Wives Have Negative Attitudes Of Working Women, Study Says

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

Gender bias in the workplace is the subject of hundreds of scholarly articles and even more cases by courts. But a recently-published study looked at whether the working status of a married man affects the man’s attitude of women in the workplace. The conclusion? It’s not pretty. We found that marriage structure has important implications… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Narrow Rulings Leave Questions for Connecticut Employers

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

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning came out with two controversial decisions that will impact employers in Connecticut. The first one, Harris v. Quinn, dealt with whether non-union public employees could be forced to pay union dues.  The court issued a relatively narrow holding, ruling that “partial” public employees could not be required to do so. … Continue Reading

Can Employers Win a Case Where a Single Use of the N-Word Is Alleged? Perhaps

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

There are a few words in our language that still have the ability to shock and hurt others.  The N-word is one of them. (I’ll use it sparingly here but note that courts use the actual language in court opinions too; for courts, accuracy is important.) Frankly, it’s not a word that pops up in a lot of… Continue Reading

Guest Post: Women’s Economic Security Act May Serve As Model for Other States

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

With Congress in gridlock, we haven’t seen any federal laws impacting employment law for several years. Instead, we’ve now started to see a lot more action at the state legislative level where proposals to modify everything from family leave to the minimum wage are being passed in, it seems, increasing numbers. Therefore, what happens in… Continue Reading

Bill Barring Discrimination Against Unemployed Advances in General Assembly

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

Let’s all agree, at the outset, that getting people re-employed — particularly those who have been unemployed for a while — is a worthy goal. How do you get there?  Job training? Education? The Connecticut General Assembly is taking a different tactic — just make it illegal for employers to discriminate against those who are… Continue Reading

Will “Microaggressions” Make Their Way Into Employment Discrimination Cases? Have They Already?

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

Over the last few months, I’ve seen an increasing number of articles start highlighting an issue that has been percolating at college campuses: The theory of “Microaggression”. Not familiar with the term? The New York Times has recently written about the term become the “word du jour”: A tone-deaf inquiry into an Asian-American’s ethnic origin…. Continue Reading

Dazed and Confused About Medical Marijuana in the Workplace? Dude, It’s Just Starting

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

The news this week that Connecticut has given its approval to four medical marijuana growers in Simsbury, West Haven, Portland, and Watertown, inches the state that much closer to full implementation of the medical marijuana law that was passed in 2012. The state also reported that over 1600 individuals in Connecticut have been certified by… 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

Employment Law Statistics Tell Part of a Story; Still Waiting for CHRO

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

Every once in a while, it’s worth taking a look at statistics in the employment law arena to get a sense of trends with the law and what employers should focus on.For those that have been paying attention, retaliation claims are now the most filed type of charge filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee… Continue Reading

Telling the Victim in a Harassment Case to Just Fight Back or Toughen Up Is Not a Solution

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

The sports headlines this week have turned into news ones.  One football player on the Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito, is accused of harassing (bullying? hazing?) another player, Jonathan Martin.  The details are still being determined so despite the media jumping to conclusions, it really does seem too soon to enter a final judgment on the entire incident.  But… Continue Reading

ENDA Clears Senate Hurdle but House Prospects Look Grim

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

A federal bill banning workplace discrimination (known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “ENDA) on the basis of sexual orientation cleared a key procedural hurdle last night as the Senate voted to begin debate on the measure, 61-30.   Passage by the Senate is now expected later this week.   (You can find my prior coverage of ENDA beginning here.)… Continue Reading

Pitfalls of a “Naughty Nurse” at Work and Other Workplace Horror Stories

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

The last two years, it hasn’t been much fun to celebrate Halloween in Connecticut. Between the freak Snowtober storm and then Superstorm Sandy, it’s nice to have a relatively quiet year. But for employers, this whole “back to normal” thing could lead to unintended consequences. So, on this Halloween, it’s worth revisiting two older posts that… Continue Reading

Snap(chat), Kik & Whisper: What Social Networking Apps Your Employees Are Using Today

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

It may be hard to remember, but during the first year of the blog in mid-2007 to 2008, there was barely a mention of social media and its impact in the workplace.  Just a single reference in January 2008 noting that with sites like Myspace (!), “employees from around the country can share information instantly, making it… 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

History Repeating Itself? $160M Settlement in Race Discrimination Brokerage Case

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

For those of us that have been practicing for a while, it had seemed that the days of the big settlements for race discrimination cases were behind us. After all, when the Coca-Cola and Texaco settlements were announced back in the late 1990s and 2000, many companies took notice. But the news today is a… Continue Reading

Interactive Process is Two-Way Street, Appellate Court Affirms

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

The Connecticut Appellate Court will officially release an opinion next week that reaffirms that the interactive process required by both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state law equivalent to discuss a reasonable accommodation to a disability, requires the employee to engage in the process as well. The case, Festa v. Board of Education,… Continue Reading

What Happens in Connecticut to Discrimination and Retaliation Cases After U.S. Supreme Court Case?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Back in 1994 (in a case Levy v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities, for the lawyers out there) the Appellate Court in Connecticut made a seemingly innocuous pronouncement: “We look to federal employment discrimination law for guidance in enforcing our own antidiscrimination statute.” Why? Because back then, there did not seem a reason to… Continue Reading

Senator Murphy: Prospects “Not Too Good” for Federal Bill Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination (ENDA)

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Legislative Developments

As many wait for the Supreme Court’s decision later this term on same-sex marriages, one issue that seems to get lost in the shuffle is the fact that there is still no federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. For employers in Connecticut, this is basically a non-issue because Connecticut… Continue Reading