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

Tag Archives: discrimination

The Dialogue: Sex Harassment in the Workplace — Still an Issue, but How Much?

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

The Dialogue, a online conversation between yours truly and a prominent employee-side attorney, Nina Pirrotti, returns today with another installment — this time tackling the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace.   For prior installments, check out these posts here and here.  As for the promised redesign and relaunch of the blog, it’s nearly complete…. Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Pregnancy Discrimination Protections Under State Law Changing?

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

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Connecticut House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that would greatly expand the already broad anti-discrimination provision that exist under Connecticut law.  The bill, House Bill 6668, would make several substantive changes to the protections including defining what is a “reasonable accommodation” instead of leaving that determination open. I’ve previously… Continue Reading

Citing Statistics, Yankee Institute Critical of CHRO — Again

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

This week, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, a self-described “free market” think tank, issued an article suggesting that Connecticut had nearly the same number of discrimination complaints as our neighboring state, Massachusetts. (This isn’t the first time it’s been critical of the CHRO.) In doing so, the Yankee Institute claimed that these statistics raise… Continue Reading

Pay Equity Bill Passes House; Awaits Senate Vote

Posted in Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

Yesterday, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that would promote pay equity among men and women. However, the bill lacks a key provision that would have barred prospective employers from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. The CT Mirror and Hartford Business Journal do a good job reporting on the developments. The… Continue Reading

Title VII and Sexual Orientation Debate Largely Moot in Connecticut

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

Over the last week or so, there have been two prominent Circuit Court decisions addressing whether Title VII (the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and national origin) can be interpreted to also protect employees from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The Second Circuit, which… Continue Reading

Mary Tyler Moore Taught Us One of the Best Employment Discrimination Lessons

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

Mary Richards’ job interview with Lou Grant is, perhaps one of the most famous job interviews ever. So says Time magazine. Before I go on, though, there are probably more than a few of you who don’t know what I’m talking about. But with the passing of Mary Tyler Moore earlier today here in Connecticut,… Continue Reading

Punitive Damages Not Available For State Employment Discrimination Claims

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

In a decision that will be officially released next week, the Connecticut Supreme Court has, at last, ruled that punitive damages are not an available remedy for state law employment discrimination claims. You may recall that I discussed the Appellate Court’s decision that had originally found the same thing back in 2015.  The case, Tomick… Continue Reading

How to Avoid Discrimination in Hiring, While Complying with Export Laws

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

My colleagues, Ashley Mendoza and Alfredo Fernandez, return today for a guest post today that shows that employment law issues can sometimes present themselves in different formats.  My thanks to the both of them in presenting a fairly advanced topic in a form that will hopefully be of interest to a few of you out… Continue Reading

New Model Rules Make It Unethical to Discriminate

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

As I have for over a decade now, I attended the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting last week serving on the ABA’s House of Delegates – the organization’s main governing body.  My exact position is actually State Delegate — a position that nominally makes the lead delegate of Connecticut’s delegation, though in practice it’s much… Continue Reading

Is There A Difference Between Firing Because of Age vs. Salary?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

Up on Fortune magazine’s column “Practically Speaking” is the following question: Frank has been with us for more than 20 years. He works in the warehouse and has done a good job for us. I like him. But, to be honest, for the work he performs I could easily replace him someone younger and …… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Modified “Ban the Box” Bill Approved in Connecticut

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

Remember “Ban the Box” and the fair chance employment bill from earlier in the session? Well, it passed last night. Sort of. An amendment to the original bill essentially wiped the prior version clean.  Thus, whatever you think you knew about the measure you can put that aside. What passed last night (House Bill 5237)… Continue Reading

EEOC: Bathroom Access Rights Guaranteed By Title VII

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

Last fall, I raised the issue of bathroom access for employees that corresponds with their gender identity. The issue, however, that seems to get the most press is restroom access. Indeed, we’re now getting federal guidance on how to deal with the issue of restroom access. That remains one of the bigger issues (a proposition up… 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

EEOC Pushes to Expand Title VII’s Reach to Sexual Orientation Claims

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations

When you’ve been blogging as long as Jon Hyman (of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog) and I have, your minds seem to work in a similar fashion. For a few days, I’ve been working on a draft of a blog post about the EEOC’s goal of expanding Title VII’s reach to include sexual orientation discrimination claims. … 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

Employment Discrimination Complaints Up Over 11 Percent in 2014-2015; A Look at CHRO Statistics Part 1

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

As I noted on Friday, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities has, at long last, released case statistics for 2014-2015 fiscal year and has updated their statistics for the last several years. As a result, there are lots of new numbers to pore over and information to be gleaned. The biggest takeaway? The… Continue Reading

When Cancer Strikes: What Happens AFTER You Run Out of Paid Time Off

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

I’d much rather write about a legal topic than a personal one, but before I talk about the logistics of handling an employee who has exhausted their paid time off, I wanted to share a brief personal update. Last November, I shared with you my wife’s diagnosis and treatment for cancer.  Because she is a… Continue Reading

Implicit Bias: What We Can ALL Learn About It in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

After the longest break away from this blog in 8 years (some purposeful, some not — and albeit not very long), it’s time to break from the summer doldrums and start thinking again. Last week, I had the opportunity to introduce a former law professor of mine — Professor Kimberly Norwood — at my firm’s… Continue Reading

DOL’s Internship Test Rejected by Second Circuit Creating Conflict with New Connecticut Law

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

Did you enjoy the fireworks last week? I’m not talking about the real Independence Day fireworks; rather, it’s a new Second Circuit decision that should have employment lawyers popping this morning. For a while, we’ve been talking about interns.  Indeed, back in 2013, I talked about how a wage/hour case involving interns on the movie… 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

Intern Anti-Discrimination Bill Signed By Governor

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

Capitol Watch — The Hartford Courant’s political site – tweeted the following yesterday: Gov. Malloy has signed a bill protecting interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. — Capitol Watch (@capitolwatch) June 22, 2015 And a review of the Governor’s website reflects that approval in the bill notification release. (I read them so you don’t have… Continue Reading

Legislative Recap: Bills Relating to Pay Secrecy and Unemployment Pass in Final Days

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

The dust has finally settled from the close of the Connecticut General Assembly on Wednesday.  And it’s time to take a look at the last few days to see what employment law bills passed. (I’ll tackle the changes that have been made to the CHRO in a post later today.) As I’ve noted in prior… Continue Reading

General Assembly Passes Bill Protecting Interns from Discrimination and Harassment

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

Believe it or not, harassment against summer interns isn’t directly prohibited under Connecticut law.  (But treating them like employees without paying them is against the law.) This is not, however, a column about the best ways to harass your interns.  Indeed, regardless of the law, it’s bad in so many ways.  (And the CHRO has… Continue Reading

“I Don’t Want to Be Alone Anymore” – Refusing to Meet with Female Subordinates One-on-One

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

I confess that when I first heard the story last week that some Capitol Hill lawmakers were refusing to meet alone with female subordinates, I didn’t pay much attention to it.   Lawmakers just being lawmakers. (I was also reminded of the old Billy Joel song, I Don’t Want to Be Alone Anymore, but I digress….)… Continue Reading