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

Tag Archives: sexual harassment

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

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

Numbers Show That Sexual Harassment Claims on the Decline

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment

Did he or didn’t he? That’s what political pundits and others have been debating the last few weeks regarding presidential candidate Herman Cain.  But a more interesting question is whether claims of sexual harassment are on the rise or not. Indeed, lost in the public discourse is a fact that isn’t talked about a lot:… Continue Reading

Employers: Think Your Competition is Tough? Watch Out for the Valentine’s Day Card.

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

So, I’ve warned you about the dangers of Halloween and the holiday party, when it comes to employment-related lawsuits. Often overlooked, however, is the day for lovers — Valentine’s Day.  There are, of course, a few of you who are scratching your head and thinking "How can that be? it’s a holiday full of love and… Continue Reading

When Your Manager Has Been Accused of Sexual Harassment

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

Consider this scenario. An administrative assistant who’s been working solidly for the company for two years comes to you, as an HR manager, and says she’s been harassed by a manager over her looks.  You need to talk with manager about the allegations. What do you do?  That’s the scenario posed in a recent article posted… Continue Reading

Prompt Corrective Action May Be Painful To Company, But Necessary

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Imagine this scenario: You just received a sexual harassment complaint about your company’s top sales performer.   What do you do? Well, the law requires that you, as the employer, conduct an investigation and, if necessary, take prompt corrective action to remedy the situation — which may in some circumstances be termination. But this is… Continue Reading

The Office Holiday Party – Alcohol-Induced Stupidity Can Lead to Serious Sexual Harassment Claims

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

UPDATED There are no statistics out there to prove this point, but the traditional office holiday party has to be among the top places where claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment start. Indeed, just a cursory look at some federal employment cases shows a common thread that run through each of them: alcohol-induced… Continue Reading

Halloween is No Excuse for Harassment: A Spooky History for Employers

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

For most people, Halloween is a fun and silly holiday. Yet the holiday has a distinct place in employment law history.  Indeed, for some employers, the holiday has brought more tricks than treats.  In Marrero v. Goya of Puerto Rico, 304 F.3d 7 (1st Cir. 2002), a supervisor was alleged to have gone out to… Continue Reading

Lost in a Maze of Regulations? One Correct Path to Follow — Harassment Training

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

One of the great local treats in Connecticut this time of year is a corn maze. My favorite for the last few years is the one created by Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT.  (And while you’re there, don’t miss picking a few apples or getting a fresh apple pie). Mazes aren’t anything new. Employment lawyers and… Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Repeated Use of “Bitch” May Be Enough to Create Hostile Work Environment

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

If you’re an employer with an appeal to the Second Circuit, having the EEOC write a brief on behalf of the Plaintiff-employee is not one of those things that portends well for the case. So, when the Second Circuit issued its decision in Pucino v. Verizon Communications (download here), perhaps the writing was already on the… Continue Reading

The Final Word on the National Sexual Harassment Registry

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment

I had anticipated that my post last week would be my final word on the so-called "National Sexual Harassment Registry". But on Monday, the ABA Journal linked to my articles and conducted an interview with the founder of the registry.  In the interests of fairness, you can read the interview for yourself. I don’t have… Continue Reading