It has been a pretty light week in Connecticut as far as noteworthy developments in employment law is entailed. The legislature is out of session and the courts unusually light in issuing anything new (much less noteworthy).
So, I thought I would recommend a few posts that have caught my eye over the last week or so that are both topical and informative:
- Michael Moore, over at Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog, as a post about the limits of customer preferences in employment decisions. The post discussions a recent appeals court decision. Ultimately, Michael concludes:
The presumption underlying “customer preferences” is that people prefer to interact with those of the same race, gender, religion, or other characteristic. Employment decisions are justified by appealing to a target demographic group. Courts have universally rejected customer preference as a basis for employment decisions except in the narrow case where it is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ).
- The Workplace Prof blog (as well as the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog) has a post about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court argument in Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC. The case is at the intersection of age discrimination law and public pension plans. I was thinking about writing it myself, but the subject matter is a bit dry — even for my tastes. Nevertheless, I don’t think I could say it better than WorkPlace Prof, so take a look for yourself.
- The ABA Journal had a short post about a Massachusetts secretary who had claimed that she had a disability and was fired for it. Except she didn’t. At least that’s what an investigator found. Indeed, she :
claimed she had a disabling spinal condition, but the detective videotaped her “working in her yard, repeatedly bending over, carrying heavy bundles, walking up and down stairs without difficulty, and walking without a limp or a cane,” the Massachusetts Appeals Court wrote Monday in an opinion…. "She was also physically able to drive 40 minutes each way to a casino in Lincoln, R.I., and to sit playing slot machines for three hours, while claiming that her back problems would not permit her to sit at her desk and type,” the opinion said.
After the investigation found that she was a fraud, the employer terminated her employment. The court upheld the dismissal.
- I may get around to posting on it myself, but Michael Fox and others have picked up on whether "maternal profiling" is the new "buzz" discrimination claim. What is it? Essentially, claims against women who have children or may have children. Will this be a hot claim in 2008? Mike’s guess is as good as mine (which I gave a few days ago.)
- Finally, Frank Roche at KnowHR, has a little post about the Dunning-Krueger Effect and HR. What is it? The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon wherein people who have little knowledge think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge. Frank notes that he views the Dunning-Kruger Effect as “’Everyone with a pen thinks he’s a communicator,’ or, ‘Everyone is a compensation professional.’ In HR we face this a lot — people who think they know more than they do." Worth checking out. Of course, whether that will ever displace The Peter Principle, remains to be seen.
Of course, now that I’ve posted this, I’m sure the courts will be opening the flood gates of noteworthy opinions. Perhaps even something from the Supreme Court? We’ll wait and see.