In a decision released on Tuesday, the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal of a state law gender discrimination claim on the grounds that it was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. 

The procedural background of Fernandez v. Mac Motors, Inc. illustrates an important mechanism for employers to use to avoid fighting a

In a decision that will be officially released on Tuesday, the Connecticut Appellate Court has upheld the dismissal of a wrongful discharge claim against Marvelwood School, an independent school in Kent, Connecticut. In doing so, the Court turned back an attempt to limit the employment-at-will doctrine and provided employers in Connecticut with reassurance that wrongful discharge claims will be appropriately limited.

The case, Zweig v. Marvelwood School, can be viewed here.

(An upfront disclosure: My firm represented the employer here and I represented the school on the successful appeal.) 

The facts of the case are relatively straightforward and are summarized in the court’s decision. The plaintiff Aaron Zweig was employed by the defendant Marvelwood School as a history teacher and school’s Director of Food Studies. That role required him to establish and maintain a garden on campus and use it to teach a class on food studies.

In May, 2015, Mr. Zweig allegedly objected to the school’s suggestion that telephone poles that had been treated with creosote, a pesticide and wood preservative, be used to make raised beds in the garden because he believed that the chemical posed a health risk to himself and his students.


Continue Reading Connecticut Appellate Court Rejects Challenge to At-Will Employment Doctrine

I’ve talked previously about how there are two sets of laws in Connecticut regarding claims arising from termination. There is the law arising from statutes – like the one I discussed this week– and then there is the common law that recognizes a “wrongful discharge”.

“Wrongful Discharge” claims were recognized by our state Supreme

Remember 2010?

Those were the days of Lady Gaga’s “Meat Dress”. You could also play “Angry Birds” on your new smartphone.

And discrimination complaints to the EEOC were about at their all-time high.

But over the last few years — and in particular, last year — discrimination and retaliation claims have been down.

A LOT.

Why do Human Resources Professionals and Employment Law Attorneys need to worry about antitrust law?

I’ll confess it’s not a question that many of us thought we would need to answer. I didn’t take the class on antitrust law in law school.

But over the last few years, antitrust law HAS been creeping more and

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. 

It’s the time when I delve into the annual report of case statistics released by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  It’s a time to look for trends. And yes, I get excited about this report every year.

The most obvious trend? Case filings are down.

Suppose a national origin discrimination case goes to a jury trial (I know we’re not having jury trials during this pandemic, but humor me).

The jury comes back with a verdict finding for the Plaintiff-employee. But it awards the Plaintiff just one dollar.  Is this a victory?

Before you answer, you should know this happens

The Connecticut Appellate Court issued a new decision (officially released today) that will have important ramifications for employers proceeding with the CHRO mandatory mediation stage.  Specifically, based on this ruling, most settlement discussions during the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ mediation stage will be inadmissible in a later court proceeding.   The decision also holds

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the “ministerial exception” that bars some employment discrimination claims against religious institutions, also bars such claims by elementary school teachers at private Catholic schools.  The case further clarifies an exception that came to prominence back in 2012 and expands the reach of the exception.   I noted then