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

Tag Archives: district court

Not Giving Employees Something (Namely a Discrimination Complaint) To Talk About

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

There’s an old(?) Bonnie Raitt song that my parents used to listen to when I was in college called “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About”.  It’s about a crush, but the intro could be just as applicable to a new court decision. The lyrics start: “People are talkin’, talkin’ ’bout people, I hear them whisper,… Continue Reading

CT Medical Marijuana Law Protects Employees; Not Preempted By Federal Drug Laws

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Labor Day has come and gone. Summer is over.  Can we all stop listening to Despacito now. (Please?) But it’s time to look at a decision that came out during the dog days of summer that might have been overlooked.  A recent federal district court case (Noffsinger v. SSN Niantic Operating Co. LLC, download here)… 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

Court: Breach of Anti-Harassment Policy in Company Handbook — Titled “Employee Agreement” — Can Be a Viable Claim Without Disclaimer

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

I’ve talked many times before about the importance of a well-drafted disclaimer in your employee handbook (here and here, for example). This is not a new thing and in Connecticut dates back to an important case back in 1995 . Without such disclaimers, employers can be subject to a breach of contract claim by your employees. Yesterday, a… 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

Wage Claim Is Not a Unfair Trade Practices Claim Too, Rules Court

Posted in Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Management-side lawyers like myself like to joke that a former employee can sometimes sue any employer for any reason at any time. It’s not true, of course, but at times it feels like there is no limit to the creativity of lawyers filing claims against employers. One such tactic was recently rejected by the federal… Continue Reading

More Litigation, More “Doing” Assistant Store Manager Overtime Cases

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

At 47 pages, U.S. District Court Judge Hall’s decision last week in Costello v. Home Depot USA (download here) denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment in an overtime case, isn’t exactly a light read.  She is, of course, not to blame. The case is complicated and has a “somewhat convoluted procedural history” because it was first filed… Continue Reading

A New Whistleblower Retaliation Statute Grows Up: Dodd-Frank is the new Sarbanes-Oxley.

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

Reading the headline, I’m sure a few of you rolled your eyes.  Dodd-Frank? Sarbanes-Oxley? Those statutes are seen as dull and tedious.  But a new federal court decision in Connecticut should start to change that, and it has implications for employers nationwide.  The case is Kramer v. Trans-Lux, which you can download here. It addressed an employer’s motion… Continue Reading

Remembering Judge Kravitz

Posted in Highlight, Litigation

United States District Court Judge Mark Kravitz passed away this week.  He had been fighting valiantly against ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). But for those of us familiar with the disease, it has no cure and death is, for most, only a matter of time. The Connecticut Law Tribune posted an article last night remembering… Continue Reading

Court Bars Use of Fluctuating Work Week to Calculate Award in Overtime Case

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

In prior posts, I’ve talked about the fluctuating work week and how it can be a useful tool for employers in limited circumstances.  Yesterday, a federal court in Connecticut had a very interesting ruling that addressed whether an employer — when faced with a suit for overtime by a group of convenience store employees (“clerks”,… Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects CTDOL’s Claim that “Bonus” Constitutes Wages

Posted in Litigation, Wage & Hour

A federal court judge this week rejected claims by the Connecticut Department of Labor that a company’s failure to pay a performance based bonus constituted a failure to pay wages.  In doing so, the Court appears to be in line with recent Connecticut Supreme Court precedents rejecting such claims as well. In State of Connecticut… Continue Reading

Pull Up Your SOX: The New Whistleblowing Claim Grows Up

Posted in Laws and Regulations, Litigation

I’ll be the first to admit that the words “Sarbanes-Oxley Act” are likely to induce a big collective yawn from many of you out there.  Even the acronym “SOX” doesn’t liven things up.  (Then there are people, like Doug Cornelius at the Compliance Building blog who eat this stuff up.) But here’s what you need… Continue Reading

NLRB Suspends New Election Rules After Court Ruling

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller Well, did you miss it? Just as people were settling down to the NLRB’s new speedy election rules this month, events over the last two days have completedly upended that. First was the Court action…. Continue Reading

Court Not “Up In the Air”: Travel for Work Does Not Violate “Familial Association” Right

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

George Clooney famously made business travel look (somewhat) cool in the movie, Up in the Air. Clooney’s character was single (really, would you expect otherwise?) and business travel was a bit glamorous (though a bit tedious as well). Perhaps not surprisingly, absent from the movie was a discussion of whether business travel could be the… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment For Tunxis Community College On Claims of Gender Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

As I’ve lamented from my very first post, too often the press focuses on new cases that are brought without placing them in context. Yet every month, federal and state courts in Connecticut consider dozens of employment law cases that never make the headlines. One such case is Jacobs v. Connecticut Community Technical Colleges, decided… Continue Reading

Court Approves Expedited Appeal for Decision Mandating Exotic Dancers Arbitrate

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Last month, I discussed a very notable decision in D’Antuono v. Service Road Corp. in which the federal court — relying in part on the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility — ordered two exotic dancers to arbitrate their employment-related claims. A few days ago, the same district court allowed the dancers to take an… Continue Reading

Impairments That Merely Affect Major Life Activities Not Covered by ADA, Says Federal Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

 Today, my colleague Jonathan Orleans makes a return engagement to the blog, updating us on a decision released by the District Court of Connecticut yesterday that has relevance to various ADA cases in the state.  The Defendant was successfully represented by another colleague of mine here at the firm, Marcy Stovall.   A decision issued yesterday… Continue Reading

First Amendment Retaliation Claims by Town Facilities Manager Tossed by District Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

A former Branford Facilities Manager’s claims that his employment was terminated due to protected speech and his political affiliation were effectively dismissed on Friday, February 25th when a federal court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment. The 40-page opinion provides good roadmap for employers (and their attorneys) to understanding such claims and what is… Continue Reading

Who’s a “Successor” for FLSA Purposes? District Court Outlines Three Tests…And Punts

Posted in Wage & Hour

When faced with an unpaid wage claim (such as one brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act — FLSA, for short), an employer has one option that is often off the table, an option nicknamed the "nuclear option".   What is it? It is to close the business, either through a bankruptcy or just an… Continue Reading

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims in Connecticut Get Dismissed Yet Again

Posted in Litigation

When the Connecticut Supreme Court came out with a decision nearly ten years ago that said that negligent infliction of emotional distress claims in the workplace were only viable when they occur during the termination process itself, it was the beginning of the end for these types of amorphous claims.   The case, Perodeau v…. Continue Reading

Motions to Dismiss in Discrimination Cases Have a Pulse

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

For many years, motions to dismiss in discrimination cases were becoming a rarity, mainly because courts were loath to grant them.  But the U.S. Supreme Court in the last few years has given the motions new life and recent District Court decisions are now showing the effects. Latest case in point: Barker v. UBS AG (download… Continue Reading

Quitters Rarely Win…In Constructive Discharge Claims

Posted in Litigation

While fans of the long running television reality show Survivor may suggest the timing of this post is geared to the events of last night’s episode that featured two players who quit, there are actually two recent and noteworthy cases in Connecticut that show that employees who quit their jobs rare win discrimination claims that… Continue Reading

Don’t Cry for Me Connecticut: Court Says Mere Factual Disagreements Not Necessarily Probative of Age Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

In employment discrimination cases, some of the day-to-day details of a person’s employment are sometimes disputed.   Did an employee "continually" cry at work or only "occasionally" cry? And does it matter? A recent Connecticut district court decision clarified that such trivial disputes about an employee’s background — without more — are not enough to be… Continue Reading

Black Firefighters Move to Intervene in Ricci v. DeStefano

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Yesterday, a group of black firefighters filed a motion to intervene in the Ricci v. DeStefano case claiming their rights will be "irrevocably impaired " if they aren’t allowed to join in the case.  You can download the motion and the accompanying memorandum of law here.  The motion was not unexpected though I’m not sure… Continue Reading