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

Tag Archives: retaliation

Employees Participating in Court Proceedings May Have Protection

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

My colleague, Jarad Lucan (who just won a New Leader of the Law award from the Connecticut Law Tribune!) returns today with a post about the protections employees who testify in court may have.  Most employers (at least those employers that read this blog on a regular basis) know that it is illegal to subject… 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

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

Retaliation Claims Still Remind Us: Scrutinize Your Employment Decisions

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

I know. We’re a bit of a broken record here. Another post on the perils on retaliation claims. (I’m resisting adding the “so sue me” joke here.) But new decisions from the courts keep coming out which give us an opportunity to do refreshers to employers and provide subtle tweaks to the associated wisdom surrounding… Continue Reading

New Retaliation Standard of Proof Shows Its Teeth

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

When the U.S. Supreme Court changed the standard for proving retaliation cases back in 2013, there was some speculation as to whether the standard would result in different decisions. Before the court’s decision, employees who claimed they were retaliated against, needed to show only that the retaliatory motive was a “substantial or motivating fact” affecting… Continue Reading

Court’s Decision on Severance Agreements Avoids Central Issues

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Just a quick followup today on a post from last month. As I reported then, a District Court judge dismissed a closely-watched EEOC lawsuit against CVS challenging a pretty standard severance agreement.  But the grounds for the dismissal were unknown back then. The wait is over; the written decision was released yesterday.  For those that were hoping that… Continue Reading

For Connecticut Employers, First Amendment Case Will Have a Small Impact

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

Much will be written about the new First Amendment free-speech-in-the-workplace case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court today. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them say nearly the same thing — that testimony by an employee who has been subpoenaed outside the course of his or her job responsibilities is now protected… Continue Reading

Employment Law Statistics Tell Part of a Story; Still Waiting for CHRO

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

Every once in a while, it’s worth taking a look at statistics in the employment law arena to get a sense of trends with the law and what employers should focus on.For those that have been paying attention, retaliation claims are now the most filed type of charge filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee… Continue Reading

First Amendment Retaliation Claims Remain Alive (and Well?)

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti several years ago, there was a lot of chatter about whether public employees still had substantive First Amendment free speech rights. And for a short while, the trend did seem to indicate that speech that related to an employee’s “official job duties” was to be construed broadly and that… Continue Reading

No Ifs, Ands, or Buts: “But For” Standard Requires New Trial, Court Rules

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

It’s always a little tricky to determine exactly how lower courts will apply a rule of law that develops from a U.S. Supreme Court. Take the case of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, decided in June, which held that a “but for” standard (i.e., that an employer would not have taken an adverse employment… Continue Reading

CHRO’s Website Contains Details on Whistleblower Retaliation Protections

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

With all the talk about Edward Snowden, the notion of whistleblowers is back front and center in the public eye.  (Put aside for the moment that Snowden is not likely a “whistleblower” in the legal sense.) On a federal level, whistleblower claims are mostly covered by the False Claims Act.  But at a state level,… 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

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Holds “But For” Standard of Proof Applies; Big Implications for Retaliation Cases

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

In another big win for employers today, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII retaliation cases must be proved by a “but for” standard of proof, not a lower standard that had been used in various courts before. At issue in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar case is the following question… Continue Reading

Just Give Me a Reason: Court Clarifies Burden-Shifting Standards

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

With apologies to P!nk (and her hit, “Just Give Me a Reason”), a new court decision gives new meaning to the phrase.  Before we get to that, longtime readers of the blog will no doubt be familiar with the burden-shifting analysis that courts use to analyze discrimination cases.  First, the employee must meet a “prima… Continue Reading

Reality Bites: Know the Law Before Using That Hidden Camera

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

During the holiday break, I did what many lawyers do (but will publicly deny): I watched a few “bad” reality tv shows.   No, I didn’t watch “Here Comes Honey Boo-boo” (even I have my limits).  But on the Food Network was a marathon of episodes of a show called “Mystery Diners”.   The show is based around so-called “Mystery… 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

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

Appellate Court Releases Trio of Important Employment Law Cases

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

The Connecticut Appellate Court released three significant employment law decisions on Monday — one of the busiest days in recent memory for the court. For employers, the cases are a mixed bag but do provide some useful practice pointers. City Sheriff Was Not an “Employee” Entitled to Statutory Protection  In Young v. Bridgeport, the Court ruled that… Continue Reading

Big Day for Employers at Connecticut Supreme Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Featured, Litigation

It’s been several years since employers had some decisions to cheer about at the Connecticut Supreme Court.  But yesterday, the court released two important decisions that will likely rank as among the most significant the court has issued in the employment context in the last decade. I represented the employer in one of those cases, which you… Continue Reading

When People Get Angry: Power Outages & Khan

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

There’s the great scene in the movie “Network” that features the line – “I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore!”. After 12 days without power, that’s a message that is resonating with me quite loudly. But this is an employment law blog and there’s a message there for employers too…. Continue Reading

What Does it Take to Survive a Motion to Dismiss? Facts, Not Conclusions

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Back in February, I noted that a motion to dismiss in federal court — while still difficult to achieve — still had a pulse.  That’s important for employers because it provides a mechanism for getting rid of frivolous claims early on with lower costs than federal lawsuits typically cost. A new district court case gives… Continue Reading

More Publicity for Sick Leave Bill’s “Sleeper” Provision

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

Power is still out to big parts of the state, but here in Hartford, power is on and life continues. And so must the blog… Back in June, when the Connecticut General Assembly approved of the paid sick leave bill, I was quick to note that the retaliation provisions in the bill seemed to apply… Continue Reading

Paid Sick Leave Bill’s Anti-Retaliation Provisions Broader Than Just “Service Workers”

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

Remember how I indicated that most of the paid sick leave bill covers only “service workers”? That’s true, but there is a big exception that hasn’t been mentioned much elsewhere. Indeed, employers who have 50 or more employees should beware: The new Paid Sick Leave bill’s anti-retaliation provisions may cover all employees, not just the… Continue Reading

Oral Complaints under FLSA are Shielded from Retaliation, Supreme Court Rules; Impact in Connecticut?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

For anyone who has been following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions interpreting wage & hour, discrimination and retaliation claims, yesterday’s decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (download here), can hardly come as a surprise. Indeed, in a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court concluded that to "file" a complaint, an employee need only provide an… Continue Reading