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

Tag Archives: settlement

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

Settling FLSA Wage & Hour Claims? Court Approval May Be Needed

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

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk at the Connecticut Legal Conference about employment law issues. My talk focused on free speech rights in the workplace — a topic I’ve covered well in some prior posts here and here, for example. One of the other topics of our discussion was the Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake… Continue Reading

A Final Look at CHRO Case Statistics – Part 3

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

So, in my prior two posts about the new case statistical reports from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, I’ve looked at the case statistics to see that harassment and terms & conditions claims are up, and that ancestry, race & color claims filed are also up. But what else can we glean… Continue Reading

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Supreme Court’s Decision on Conciliation a Yawn for Connecticut Employers

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

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EEOC has a duty to conciliate that has go a bit beyond words before filing suit as a party.  In the case, EEOC v. Mach Mining (download here), the employer argued that the EEOC cannot just say that it has tried to resolve the matter through conciliation;… Continue Reading

Background Check Settlements Still Costing Employers Big Dollars

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

My colleague Peter Murphy and I have been talking a lot about background checks lately.  It’s easier than ever to run a basic Internet search on someone, but what information do you find? And are there any limts? Today, Peter talks about two recent settlements of background check claims against employers. Both cost the employers… Continue Reading

Paper Trail: DOJ Brings Issue of Hiring Documentation to Forefront

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

Late Friday, you might have (ok, I’m sure you did) missed a press release from the United States Department of Justice announcing a settlement with a staffing agency in California. The charge? That a staffing company “discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).” Now, I’m sure you all… Continue Reading

Split of Authority Develops on Issue of Judicial Approval for FLSA Settlements

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Your former employee files suit against your company in federal court in Connecticut claiming that she is entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.   You go to a settlement conference before a magistrate judge. After a few hours of back and forth negotiation, you reach a settlement with the ex-employee. Is judicial approval of the… Continue Reading

A New “CAR” And Other Proposed Changes to CHRO – Can They Get It Right?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Legislative Developments

Last year, the General Assembly considered changes to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. That bill did not receive a final vote. This year, it’s back but recently died in the Judiciary Committee, according to the CBIA.  Will it get attached to another bill? Will it be tweaked further this fall in preparation for next year’s… Continue Reading

Settlement Agreement Provisions To Consider When Settling Discrimination Claims

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

A few days ago, I came across a thoughtful post from Work Matters, a longtime blog run by Michael Maslanka. In it, Mike describes a clause in a settlement agreement to get around an issue that sometimes arises — how do you minimize the threat of an EEOC claim when the EEOC has taken the… Continue Reading

History Repeating Itself? $160M Settlement in Race Discrimination Brokerage Case

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

For those of us that have been practicing for a while, it had seemed that the days of the big settlements for race discrimination cases were behind us. After all, when the Coca-Cola and Texaco settlements were announced back in the late 1990s and 2000, many companies took notice. But the news today is a… Continue Reading

Who Owns Your Company’s Social Media? Are You Sure?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Social Media

In my presentations on social media this year, I’ve talked a bit about the Phonedog v. Kravitz case where an employer sued a former employee who continued to use the company Twitter account he had started. When the employee left, he merely changed the Twitter account’s handle to his own name and took the 17,000 Twitter… Continue Reading

The Zombie Cases: Why Defending Employment Lawsuits Can Be So Expensive

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

How many times do you have to win? That’s a question that employers may ask themselves when dealing with employment cases because the fact is, a enterprising litigant can make things quite expensive on the thinnest of facts.  Indeed, employers may be wondering if these cases are like zombies that rise up from the dead to… Continue Reading

Three Takeaways from Labor & Employment Seminar

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

We had another great turnout last week  for my firm’s seminar on labor & employment law.  Many of the topics would be familiar to avid blog readers, but there were three interesting points that I haven’t talked much about that I thought were also notable. 1.  In September, the IRS announced a Voluntary Classification Settlement… Continue Reading

The “Standard” Provisions in an Employment Settlement Agreement

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

The title of this post is, of course, a bit misleading.  Any lawyer will tell you that each employment case you may have is unique and that any settlement must take into account the facts and circumstances of the particular case. All true.  And, if your company is negotiating a settlement, you ought to have… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Ricci v. DeStefano Plaintiffs Accept Offers Of Judgment

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

News outlets this morning reported that the plaintiffs (a group of firefighters in New Haven) in the Ricci v. DeStefano reverse discrimination case were awarded damages of about $2 million (plus attorneys fees of $3 million). What the reports don’t really get into, however, is exactly how that has come about. Turns out that the… Continue Reading

“Discourage Litigation….”

Posted in Litigation

At a recent settlement conference in federal court, the presiding judge read both parties a quote at the start of the process and asked the parties to name the source of the quote. Here’s the quote: Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is… Continue Reading

Should I Fight Or Settle: The Strategic Business Decision

Posted in Litigation

A common question for employers when confronted with a lawsuit is this: Should I fight or try to settle? Unfortunately, that decision inevitably is a business one and often times depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.   Sure, there are attorneys who profess to be "pitbulls" and who claim that it’s always best… Continue Reading

What Ever Happened To….The Complaint Brought by a Fox 61 Reporter?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Remember the buzz in 2009 about a complaint filed by a Fox 61 reporter (Shelly Sindland) that she had been discriminated against because of her age? You can find all of my stories about it here.  It certainly had allegations that made others take notice (including a reference to "Big Boob Fridays").  Well, the case… Continue Reading

Superintendent, School Board Agree to Settlement After Alleged Facebook Posts

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

In a followup to a post of earlier this week, Windsor Locks and its Superintendent of Schools reached an agreement late yesterday in which the Superintendent agreed to resign in exchange for a six month severance payment (to be shorted if he finds work before the expiration of that severance period.) The agreement comes after… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: USERRA Releases, DeepNet, World Cup, Telecommuting, Facebook Messages, Overtime on Commssions, Interns

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

With all the news about recent Supreme Court decisions, here are a few articles that you might of missed over the last few weeks: The Ohio Employer’s Law Blog reports on an interesting 6th Circuit decision that allows a USERRA claim (the statute that guarantees job restoration after military service) to be released in a separation… Continue Reading

The Report of the Death of the Confidentiality Clause Is Exaggerated

Posted in Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

Former Hartford resident Mark Twain once wrote: "The Report of My Death Was An Exaggeration". The same can be said, I believe, of reports from a case out of Florida on confidentiality.  Rick Hayber, who writes the Connecticut Employee Rights Blog, discussed the case earlier this week and asked for my views. In the case,… Continue Reading

More on True Cost of Litigation: Opponent’s Attorneys Fees May Trump Damages

Posted in Litigation

Last week, I talked about how the time spent litigating an employment discrimination case can be a big part of the cost of the defense of such a matter. That "time" has another consequence as well: It increases the amount of attorneys’ fees that an employee has to spend litigating a case. As a result,… Continue Reading

What Happened To … The Lawsuits Against the CHRO By Two Former Employees?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC

It seems like every fall, something new trickles out of a lawsuit brought by two former employees of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) — Paula Ross and Valerie Kennedy.  The two employees claimed that they were the victims of discrimination by an agency responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination.  You can find… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Psychogenic Illness, ENDA, Social Networking for Employers, Notification of Rights, Caregiver Discrimination, Tax Treatment

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour

Over the last several days, I’ve been attending the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago as a delegate from Connecticut to its main governing board (you can watch the webcast replay here, featuring a speech by Attorney General Eric Holder). The ABA accomplishes quite a bit and if you’ve been following my Twitter feed lately,… Continue Reading