As someone who grew up in Connecticut and watched Channel 3 news religiously (at least before the internet), Denise D’Ascenzo, the local news anchor who passed away suddenly on Saturday, was one of a kind.  She was professional, authoritative, knowledgeable, and humble.

I loved watching her both on the news and during the yearly

It’s been far too long since our last installment from March 2019, but my ongoing dialogue with Nina Pirrotti, a prominent plaintiff’s-side employment law attorney, is back. In this post, we talked about the highlights from 2019 with a sneak peek at 2020.  My thanks to Nina for her contributions. You can find her firm’s blog posts here as well.  

Dan:  Nina! Good to talk with you again here.  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving; mine was full of turkey, stuffing and even skiing.  But we have so much to talk about. It seems that 2019 has been a busy year in employment law which is kind of surprising because the economy keeps rolling on. I thought we’d look back on 2019 and look ahead to 2020.

From my perspective, it’s tough trying to recap 2019 in just one or two paragraphs. The most obviously trendline to me sees to be that the #metoo movement shows no signs of abating or of a backlash.  And for people like both you and me who care about social justice, this is a great thing. Real change to root out sexual harassment has been long overdue. We’re now going to see training mandated at basically all workplaces and other changes.  But will it be enough or will it stall out in 2020?

Paid FMLA is obviously another big topic but we’re really not going to see those changes until at least 2021.  What else stands out to you from this past year?

Nina: A warm hello to one of my favorite sparring partners.  It is so great to rekindle our feisty exchanges!

Well, Dan, as you may have guessed from the two articles I wrote for the Connecticut Law Tribune in October 2018 and mid-March 2019, the critical issues raised by the #MeToo movement continue to loom large for me this year.

While we have on rare (and much publicized) occasions, seen the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, (See e.g. “’Survivor’ Contestants Apologize After #Me Too” Backlash”), the movement has largely been a force for healthy, overdue change.
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  • Did you hear about the guy who went into a rage when he got the shorter end of the wishbone?
    He just snapped!

In prior posts, I’ve described how Valentine’s Day and Halloween have been fowl holidays for employers.  Many a harassment or discrimination complaint has been based on those holidays.

But what about Thanksgiving?

What does it feel like winning the lottery? I don’t know but it has to feel a lot like getting picked for jury duty.

(Wait, am I the only one to get excited at the prospect of jury duty? <grins sheepishly>)

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you may remember that I’ve been called to jury duty before.  Sometimes, it’s been cancelled but back in 2011, I made it all the way to a courtroom — only to be dismissed when I noted that I knew the attorneys at both lawfirms.

Anyways….I’ve been called to jury duty again next week, which gave me the inspiration for this week’s Employment Law Checklist Project post #emplawchecklist. The law is found in a different section than most — and a reminder that not all the laws that employers have to follow are in one neat package.

In fact, this might be one of more confusing employment laws out there.

The key portions of jury duty are actually found in two separate provisions. If your eyes glaze over at the laws, just skip to the summary down below.


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Can an employer ever win a motion for summary judgment on a discrimination case in state court?

The prevailing wisdom is no.  A fool’s errand, some might say.

But a new Connecticut Appellate Court case (Alvarez v. City of Middletown) shows at least what’s possible.

The case has some details that stand out. The

Late Friday, Governor Lamont vetoed House Bill 5001, which I had highlighted in an earlier post as being passed during the waning hours of the legislative session.

That bill would have rescinded a particular labor regulation and required the Department of Labor to promulgate a new regulation in its place.

In vetoing the measure,

With Independence Day nearly upon us (and with many offices on skeleton crews this week), I thought I would take a very brief look back at a case that has particular relevance to the Grand Old Flag and displays of patriotism in the workplace.

If you’ve never read about Cotto v. United Technologies Corp.,

(Post has been updated to note a legislative development.)

Running a restaurant is hard. It’s long hours, short tempers and fickle customers.

But add in those wage & hour laws? What a headache.

And there are lawyers out there who know it. In fact, there are some that rest their business model on

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity (CHRO) was sued yesterday by its longtime (and former) Regional Manager Pekah Wallace.  The federal lawsuit claims her employment termination was improper and provides a whole host of information about what has been going on behind the scenes at the agency.

You can download the complaint here.