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

Tag Archives: discrimination

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

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

The Legal Ramifications of…. Your Workplace Kitchen?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I was listening the other day to one of my favorite podcasts (well, favorite besides Serial) called The Gist.  Mike Pesca, formerly of NPR, spends about 30 minutes each day on topics both big and small. And on a recent podcast, he tackled….wait for it….the workplace kitchen. Turns out there’s another podcast — the Sporkful – which… Continue Reading

The “Association” Game: How a Spouse’s Cancer May be Covered by the ADA

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

Last week, we talked about an employer’s obligations when it comes to an employee who has cancer. But what about an employee’s spouse? Does the employer have any legal obligations there? Let’s start first with a story: Jake and his supervisor, Alex, have had a great working relationship but lately, things seems to have changed. At least… Continue Reading

Not Every Action By Employers Can Be the Basis of a Lawsuit

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today with a primer on what it takes to establish a “prima facie” case of discrimination — the bare minimum to get the case to be considered by a court.  Today, we focus on the third element — the “adverse employment action”. What is that, you ask? Read on. If… Continue Reading

No Right to Jury for Discrimination Claims Against State, Court Says

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

My colleague, Chris Engler, joins us again with a post today about whether or not a jury trial is required for certain employment law claims.  I’ll have a full recap of my presentations on data privacy in an upcoming post soon. While many of us spent last weekend celebrating Columbus Day, our neighbors to the north… Continue Reading

Can an Employer Ever Win at the CHRO?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

I sometimes lament that employers get the short end of the stick when it comes to matters before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  There’s little doubt, as I’ve said before, that more cases are being retained for investigation. But what happens after an investigation has concluded that there is “reasonable cause” to believe that discrimination occurred?… Continue Reading

Fantasy Football: A Real and Present Danger to the Workplace?

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

A confession first: I’m in a fantasy football league. Actually two of them.  It’s fun and makes weekend football watching a heck of a lot more interesting. But did you know that fantasy football has led to all sorts of real issues in the workplace? Well, longtime readers may remember an incident from five years… Continue Reading

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