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

Tag Archives: harassment

Election 2016: Three Employment Law Debate Questions For Donald Trump

Posted in Highlight, Legislative Developments

Each election cycle, I hope that employment law issues will move front and center to the Presidential campaign. And each cycle, I’m slightly disappointed that such issues only get short shrift.  Sigh. But as I’ve done before, it would be nice to fantasize about employment law questions that could be posed to the candidates at the… Continue Reading

Big Settlement, Big Issues: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Isn’t Over.

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

$20,000,000.00. That, as they say in the legal parlance, is a crooked number with a LOT of zeros behind it. And that is also the reported amount of settlement between Gretchen Carlson and Fox News over her sexual harassment lawsuit.  Plus an unprecedented apology.  And it doesn’t take into account other cases of harassment that… Continue Reading

Shoddy Harassment Investigation Can Still Lead to Liability, Court Rules

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Welcome back from summer! Today, my colleague Gary Starr and I bring you the story of an employer that thought that it had done everything right — only to see it all go wrong.  Imagine this scenario: You, the employer, think you’ve taken all the right steps when hearing about a harassment complaint. You encourage… 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

Sex Harassment in the Workplace: An Uptick in Cases, Awareness or Both?

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

The last few weeks it seems that I’ve been reading about sexual harassment in the workplace issues a lot more. Here are a few examples: Gretchen Carlson sues Fox News’ Roger Ailes. Suit Says Managing Partner Pressured Female Staff for Sex Sexual Harassment Still a Reality in the Workplace Interior chief: ‘Culture’ of sexual harassment… Continue Reading

Hostile Work Environment Creator, Equal Opportunity Offender or Something Else?

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

You work for a privately-owned multinational conglomerate with a high-profile CEO who loves Twitter and can’t stop talking. And that CEO, outside of work, has been critical of lots of people. In doing so, however, the CEO has made particular comments about certain women, comments such as: “She wanted to breast pump in front 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

What is “Actionable” for Harassment Claims To Succeed

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

As I continue recapping various sessions from the ABA Labor & Employment Law Annual Conference last week in Philadelphia, it’s time to turn to what makes claims “actionable” under today’s harassment laws. In other words, is the single use of an offensive word such as the “n-word” enough to survive a motion to dismiss or… Continue Reading

Frightened by Employment Law? Just Think About “Naughty Nurses”

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

It’s that time of year again. When employees dress up in inappropriate outfits and engage in general stupidity. I am speaking, of course, about Halloween. Don’t believe me? I’ve got several blog posts to prove it. For example, in prior years, I’ve warned you to be on the lookout for “Naughty Nurses”.  Yes, somewhere out… Continue Reading

When Employee Models for Playgirl, Harassment May Be “Because of Sex”

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Late last month, a federal court in Connecticut took another look at the prohibition of discrimination “because of sex” with a case that has all the elements of a “can you believe it” fact-pattern that will surely be used for harassment training going forward. The case involves a male employee posed for Playgirl nearly two decades… Continue Reading

Can You Keep a Secret in Human Resources?

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

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran another column in its Workalogist series that asked the following question: Are conversations with a human resources department confidential? I’m contemplating retirement in about three years and would like to gather benefit information from human resources now — but I do not want my supervisor to know…. Continue Reading

Harassment and “Terms & Conditions” Claims Up Big; A Look at CHRO Statistics Part 2

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

In yesterday’s post, I talked about how employment claims being filed are up big at the CHRO. Indeed, in looking at the statistics further, I realized that it is the second highest number of claims being filed in the last 15 years. So, FY 2015 was a very big year for claims. But typically, in… 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

No Specific Statute Cited in a Pleading? No Problem, Says the Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

It is commonly understood that Connecticut is mainly a “fact-pleading” state when it comes to the court system. What does that mean? Well, Norm Pattis, in a 2013 Law Tribune column, described the significance in calling for the state to change the way plaintiffs file their lawsuits. You recall the distinction, don’t you, between notice… 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

3 Mind-Blowing Tips For Employers About Sexual Harassment From Cosmo

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

I don’t care who you are: Somewhere, in a doctor’s waiting room, or a supermarket checkout line, you’ve seen the headlines of Cosmopolitan magazine. But, as luck would have it as an employment lawyer, imagine my surprise when I saw this headline: “He Did WHAT?! The Cosmo Guide to Surviving Sexual Harassment at Work“. Of… 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 “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

Bully For You? Not When It Comes To Workplace Bullying

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments

One of things I try to do on this blog is look through our crystal ball and focus on topic that may be on the horizon. For some time now, workplace bullying has seemed to be one of those issues. I’ve touched on it before, but today my colleague Chris Parkin is back with some… 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

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