The news today has been swift and harsh. And the first effects of “Plan B” are now being felt.
The CHRO was informed today that all the Human Rights Referees serving in the Office of Public Hearing will no longer be with the Agency after tomorrow, June 30, 2011. It appears that the Governor’s office has taken this step in accordance with its budget responsibilities.
As a result, late today, the CHRO posted this notice on the website:
“ALERT! All proceedings at the Office of Public Hearings are suspended until further notice. Please contact 860.418.8770.”
(The official notice of the suspension can now be found here.)
What does this mean? It means no hearings, or conciliation conference. Everything post-reasonable cause is now on hold indefinitely.
Note: This only impacts (right now) claims that have passed a reasonable cause finding. All remaining cases that are still pending an investigation are unaffected by this notice. However, as a practical matter, if cases don’t have an option of going to a hearing after a reasonable cause finding, it’s going to create one heck of a mess.
This situation is rapidly developing so any employers with matters at the CHRO should keep a close eye on these developments.