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

Tag Archives: sexual harassment

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

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

Can You Love Employment Law and Love Valentine’s Day?

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

For years, I’ve been “warning” about the upcoming holiday of Valentine’s Day. Back in 2011, I recapped several cases where employees’ inappropriate behavior on this day of love, led to lawsuits. Apparently, there were some people who didn’t read the blog, because just a few years after that, I recapped a few more cases where… Continue Reading

Tis the Season for Good Party Planning

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

It’s mostly a coincidence that my colleague, Jarad Lucan returns today with a post on a favorite topic of ours: Holiday parties.  While most of it isn’t groundbreaking (holiday parties haven’t changed all that much over the last decade), Jarad really focuses in on the key issues. So, enjoy your holiday parties over the next… 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

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

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

Will “Fifty Shades of Grey” Launch Fifty Hostile Work Environment Claims?

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

Back in May 2012, I wrote this about a book that was making its way around various book clubs that was dubbed by The New York Times as “Mommy Porn”. [H]aving someone read [Fifty Shades of Grey] alone during a lunch break, by itself, is probably not enough to establish a sexual harassment claim. The fact that it… 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

Three Things Employers Can Do Right Now to Ensure Employment Law Compliance

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

While the temperature hasn’t felt like summer in Connecticut the last few days, judging by the traffic this morning, there are lots of you on vacation this week. If you’re one of the (un)lucky ones working this week, perhaps you have a few extra minutes to tackle some projects that have been on the back burner. In… Continue Reading

Legislative Preview: Will the CHRO Bill Get Passed This Year?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

The short session of the Connecticut General Assembly is set to begin on February 5, 2014. But the jockeying for items to get on the agenda is well under way. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is circulating a proposed bill that would followup on a failed bill from last year’s term. I previously… 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

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

More Examples of Why Valentine’s Day is a Bad Day for Employers

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

Two years ago, I wrote of the perils of Valentine’s Day.  While it may be a day for lovers, it is also a day where people do crazy (read: stupid) things. I am not talking about Crazy. Stupid. Love. (Good movie, silly name.) I’m talking about things that can lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit. … Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Holiday Parties, HIPAA and ADA, Non-Compete Agreements, “Supervisor”, Facebook

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation, Social Media

It’s been a crazy week here for reasons I hope to share in a future post. But in the meantime, the world of employment law still continues. Here are some items worth reading that I had hoped to talk about further. This brief recap will have to do for now. Want some tips on how to… 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

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

Second Circuit = The Avengers? Judges Create Alter Ego Liability

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Alter egos are all the rage right now with The Avengers well on its way to becoming one of the most popular movies of all time. Hearing about a new case out of the Second Circuit, it would be easy to conclude the Court was getting into the superhero business with the establishment of a new theory of liability… Continue Reading

Tips for Preventing Sexual Harassment? Suggestions Sought by EEOC

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Social Media

Twitter is one of the more remarkable creations to come out of the last decade.  It’s huge, noisy, and hard to keep track of. It is also one of the most delicious communication tools ever invented. A tweet from earlier today confirmed my view of it. Chai Feldblum, who describes herself on her Twitter profile… 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