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

Tag Archives: harassment

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

Quick Hits: Starbucks Tip Policy, E-Cigarettes, Sniffing Employees, Female Bosses, USDOL, Thanksgivukkah

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

With Hanukkah tonight, and Thanksgiving tomorrow, (or “Thanksgivukkah” as some have called it humorously),  here are a few morsels of employment law information to get you started. Last week, the Second Circuit upheld Starbucks’ Tip Policy.  While the Second Circuit does cover Connecticut, the issue it had to decide was based on New York Labor Law. … Continue Reading

CHRO Statistics Released; More Cases Closed Than Opened

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

After my post last week on discrimination statistics (and the lack thereof of CHRO statistics that were publicly available), the CHRO was kind enough to release some additional statistics to me that hadn’t been posted on its website and hadn’t been released publicly before. My sincere thanks to CHRO Principal Attorney Charles Krich for the… 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

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training – August 27th

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

I’ve long since preached about the need for ongoing sexual harassment prevention training. My new firm, Shipman & Goodwin LLP has a series of trainings scheduled that should hopefully fit your schedule if you or your employees have a need for such training. The next one is scheduled for August 27th in Hartford from 7:45-10a. … Continue Reading

Conn. Supreme Court: Public Policy Against Sexual Harassment Supports (Perhaps Mandates?) Termination of Alleged Harassers

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

It’s tough to draw lessons from appeals of arbitration decisions. Why? Because the standard to overturn arbitration cases is high and, it’s only when there are really bad facts (or, perhaps more likely, an really bad error in interpreting the law) that appellate courts consider reversing the decision. That appears to be the case in… Continue Reading

Back to the Basics on Sexual Harassment Prevention

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

With every new law that gets passed, it’s easy to overlook the existing requirements that employers must follow. After all, if employers are just tracking the new laws down without first nailing down compliance with “older” ones, then they are leaving themselves just as vulnerable to potential claims. One area that is easy to overlook… 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

U.S. Supreme Court Narrows Employer Liability in Harassment Cases

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

We’ve been waiting a while for a few U.S. Supreme Court cases to come down that have an impact on employment law.  And the court didn’t disappoint.  They are blockbuster cases when it comes to employment law. In the first of two decisions this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court released Vance v. Ball State University, a… Continue Reading

Oversharing at Work: When Gossip Turns Into Something More

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

Do you know some of your co-workers deepest, darkest secrets? And did you want to know those secrets in the first place? Odds are, somewhere, sometime, you’ve had a co-worker that has shared a little too much information. Indeed, in this Facebook age, “oversharing” is turning out to be an issue; some employees just seem… Continue Reading

What Remedy Is Appropriate When a Jury Concludes Sexual Harassment Occurred?

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

A case out of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (of which, Connecticut is part of) addresses an interesting question: When a jury  finds that sexual harassment has been perpetuated by a single employee, is injunctive (non-monetary) relief required to be issued by the District Court? The EEOC argued yes and argued that remedies such as… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Election Roundup, Seminar Details, Harassment, and CTDOL Improvements

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

As the week draws to a close, it’s time for another installment of Quick Hits, where I highlight a few blog posts worth a read. As readers know, this week I’ve been posing a series of questions to the major party candidates about employment law.  Other lawyers have done the same and Jon Hyman, of… Continue Reading

10 Questions About the Harassment Lawsuit Against Geno Auriemma

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Yesterday, a security director for the NBA filed a lawsuit against USA Basketball, UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, and the NBA.  It is just that — a complaint — nothing more and nothing less. Yet it is treated by many in the media as if the allegations have been proven true.  (And Auriemma called… Continue Reading

Harassment by Third Parties Still Requires Actions

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

Last week, various Connecticut newspapers reported on a judicial marshal who allegedly sexually harassed four women, including a DCF worker.   Whether the charges have merit or not is a something we’ll have to leave to the judicial system itself, but it raises a point that I haven’t seen often raised. An employer’s duty to stop sexual harassment… Continue Reading

Summer Reading: Is the “Mommy Porn” in “Fifty Shades of Grey” Workplace Safe?

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

Is someone bringing “Mommy Porn” (The New York Times words, not mine) into the workplace? Yes, THAT book, 50 Shades of Grey, has been making the rounds. And chances are, with Memorial Day weekend upon us, more than a few people will be bringing it to the beach, or perhaps to the lunch room next… Continue Reading

Conn. Supreme Court: Law Bars Hostile Work Environment Based on Sexual Orientation

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a decision that will be officially released on May 15, 2012, today ruled unanimously that Connecticut’s anti-discrimination laws implicitly create a claim for hostile work environment based on an employee’s sexual orientation.  The state’s anti-discrimination laws have long been interpreted to bar a hostile work environment based on gender, but… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Employers Should Beware Of Valentine’s Day

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

Who would’ve thought that Valentine’s Day could be dangerous for employers?  Alas, the day is built for lovers — and sometimes the boss is trying to do the loving. Not good. Last year, I recapped the dangers of the holiday for employers. It’s one of my popular posts so I reprint it here.  Beware! I’ve… Continue Reading

Court Rules Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Entitled to More Than Just Contingency Fee After Jury Awards Nominal Damages

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Suppose you just defended against a discrimination and harassment lawsuit by two former female employees. The jury found that discrimination and harassment had occurred. But the jury awarded one employee only $1600 in economic damages and nothing for emotional distress. For the other employee, the jury did not award any damages. Most employers would take… Continue Reading

Last Friday Night: Holiday Parties Continue to Present Challenges To Employers

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

What is it about the holiday party that makes otherwise decent, hard-working people lose their mind? Alcohol is certainly the main reason, in my view. Open bars are invitations to lots of craziness. (Just ask Katy Perry.)   Since it is unlikely (and unrealistic) that all companies will move to “dry” parties (though some have moved… Continue Reading