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

Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Restroom Access and Transgender Issues in the Workplace Go Supreme

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

I still remain amazed at the sold-out crowd we had at last week’s Labor & Employment Law seminar.  Well over 250 people registered for the program and I kind of wanted to whisper to people: “You know this is just a LEGAL seminar, right?” But no matter. Employment law issues are as popular as ever and… Continue Reading

Employer Can Refuse to Pay Commissions After Termination — Under Certain Conditions

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

Thanks to all who came to our Labor & Employment seminar on Thursday. Our biggest crowd yet. In it, we talked about the importance of offer letters.  Marc Herman returns today with a post updating us on a recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision that came out while I was on vacation a while back that… Continue Reading

Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

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

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But the Connecticut Supreme Court, as it has done before, was having none of it.  The end result of the case… Continue Reading

Scalia’s Employment Law Legacy: More Complicated Than You Think

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight

About a decade ago, I had the good fortune to sit at a table with Justice Antonin Scalia over a long lunch. He was a distinguished speaker for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and, as a former Chair of the that group, I lucked out in my seating arrangements. I remember my… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Connecticut Supreme Court Expands Employee Free Speech Claims

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

In an unanimous decision that was released late this morning, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the limits to free speech limits established by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Garcetti decision — namely that speech pursuant to an employee’s official job duties was not protected — did not apply to claims brought under the Connecticut… Continue Reading

Can You Still Have Dress Codes After Abercrombie Decision?

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

I’m not a fan of click-bait, so if you clicked the headline just to know whether your company can still have a dress code policy after the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the answer is “yes”. But there’s an important caveat and for that, you’ll need to read on. The Court’s… Continue Reading

BREAKING – U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Motive, Not Knowledge, Is Critical in Disparate Treatment Cases

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

The long-awaited EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch case was released by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning, reversing the Tenth Circuit’s decision. You can download it here. For anyone following the case, the decision shouldn’t come as a big surprise.  I’ve talked about the case before here and here. The main holding of the case… 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

When Reviewing a Reinstatement Decision by an Arbitrator, Consider Over a Dozen Factors

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

If you like getting lost on roads with your head spinning on which way to go, this is your post.  (Everyone else, well, try to keep up.) I recap a case for companies with unions to pay attention to. Let’s start with this example: Employee X is required by law to report suspected abuse in her job. She fails… Continue Reading

Although Unconstitutional, Employment Blue Laws Are Remnant of Old System

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

UPDATED: Since the initial post, the CTDOL website has been updated to reflect a change in the law. The post has been updated to reflect these changes.  With all the talk about religious “freedom” this week in the news and the holidays upon us this weekend, I wish I had something more profound to write… Continue Reading

In Employment Litigation, the Best Defense is a Good Defense

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

It’s a busy week in employment law. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court case decided Young v. UPS — a case about pregnancy discrimination. I’ll have more on that case in an upcoming post (in the meantime, check out Jon Hyman’s post on the subject). But in today’s post, my colleague Chris Engler talks about a… Continue Reading

Free Speech in the Workplace Gets Another Day in Court

Posted in Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Tomorrow, the Connecticut Supreme Court will hear arguments in Trusz v. UBS. It’s case I’ve mentioned before and even made a prediction about the case back at the start of the year. I’m not going to discuss it in detail because I and my colleagues here at the firm wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Connecticut… Continue Reading

A Look Ahead: Three Bold Predictions in Employment Law for 2015

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws and Regulations

Every year, I break out a crystal ball, or a magic 8-ball, or some tea leaves, and make some pronouncement about what will happen in the upcoming year. It’s sort of a no-lose proposition. If I’m right, well, then I pat myself on the back. If I’m wrong, well, it’s just an educated guess. So,… Continue Reading

Connecticut Court: Perceived Disability Claims May Proceed Under State Law

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

My colleague, Jarad Lucan, returns today with a post discussing a new Connecticut Supreme Court case that has expanded the state’s anti-discrimination laws when it comes to disability claims.  When Congress enacted the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), it recognized that fears, misperceptions, and stereotypes about disabled individuals are so pervasive that employment discrimination reaches… Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Employees Need Not Be Paid For Post-Shift Security Checks

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

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules on an issue in a 9-0 fashion — with a decision penned by Justice Thomas, no less — you can fairly conclude that the issue is not all that difficult. Indeed, the SCOTUSBlog summed up the employment law decision today pretty succinctly: Workers who are required to stay after their… Continue Reading

EEOC Declines a “Pregnant” Pause; New Guidance Awaits Supreme Court Decision

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Legislative Developments

Last week, my colleagues Peter Murphy and Harrison Smith, offered to write about the latest developments in the law regarding pregnancy.  The post was scheduled to come out today, when, much to our surprise, the EEOC yesterday afternoon released long-awaited guidance on the subject. So much for that post! After a quick rewrite last night,… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates NLRB Recess Appointments; Dozens of Decisions Impacted

Posted in Labor Law & NLRB

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision (with a heated split on the reasoning), ruled that the recess appointments to the NLRB made by President Obama during a three-day recess were invalid. You can download the decision here. Much of the early instant analysis has focused on the recess appointment power itself. But for… Continue Reading

Throwback Thursday: Why Your Offer Letters and Employee Handbooks Have Disclaimers #tbt

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

On Twitter and Facebook, the concept of “Throwback Thursday” (or #tbt) has become quite popular.  Typically, it’s a picture from long ago that you’ve forgotten.The theory behind why its so popular is that there is still gold to be mined out of older things. I was thinking about that concept lately when it comes to blogs and employment… Continue Reading

SOX Stake Claim in Winning … a Whistleblower Protection Case (Revisited)

Posted in Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

It’s Baseball Season; a time for the Sox to come out and play. Not the Red Sox — this is, after all, a legal blog (run by a Yankees fan, no less).  No, today, we’re talking about Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Whistleblower Protection. Still with us.  My colleague, Clarisse Thomas, has taken a look back at the U.S…. Continue Reading

Donning, Doffing and “Changing Clothes”: Supreme Court Says When Employees Get Paid

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

Raise your hand if you know what “Donning and Doffing” is? To those that have raised your hand, you are most likely: a) an employment lawyer; b) a Scrabble nerd; or c) not being honest with yourself. It’s just not a phrase anyone uses in real life — like a “snood” (I’ll get to the… Continue Reading

State Officials Ask Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality of 2002 Layoffs

Posted in Class Actions, Labor Law & NLRB, Litigation

Last Friday, lawyers representing two government officials petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over whether former a 2002 state decision to layoff only union personnel violated those employee’s constitutional rights. Back in June 2013, you may recall that the Second Circuit ruled that such layoffs did violate the right of association.  I’ve discussed the… 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

The Times Says “Most Lawyers” Won’t Take Age Discrimination Cases Anymore. Really?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

In Tuesday’s The New York Times, an article (that, as of Monday evening was one of the lead pieces on the NYTimes.com website) argues that age discrimination continues to exist in society and that it is hitting the baby boomers particularly hard.  (Indeed, the article’s tag is “for-laid-off-older-workers-age-bias-is-pervasive”.) I do not challenge the assertion that age… 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