When the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) passed Congress in 2008 (remember when Congress used to pass employment laws??), one of the most talked about changes was that Congress declared that the question of whether an individual’s impairment was a “disability” should not require “extensive analysis.”

It was thought by some at the time,

The news this week that Connecticut has given its approval to four medical marijuana growers in Simsbury, West Haven, Portland, and Watertown, inches the state that much closer to full implementation of the medical marijuana law that was passed in 2012.

The state also reported that over 1600 individuals in Connecticut have been certified by

The Connecticut Appellate Court will officially release an opinion next week that reaffirms that the interactive process required by both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state law equivalent to discuss a reasonable accommodation to a disability, requires the employee to engage in the process as well.

The case, Festa v. Board of

Whenever someone tells you that a proposed bill “clarifies” something or “simplifies” existing law, you should view such talk with a dose of healthy skepticism.

Indeed, viewing the written testimony of CHRO Executive Director Robert Brothers in support of Senate Bill 1164, you could be left with the impression that the changes being proposed to the state’s anti-discrimination laws were nothing more than technical in nature. 

But a more detailed review of the proposed bill reveals significant changes to how the state processes anti-discrimination complaints and what the scope is of such laws.   It would seemingly add emotional distress damages, for example, to the relief available at a public hearing for the first time. 

To be fair, some of the changes really are technical in nature, such as to make the statute more gender neutral. The problem is that such innocuous changes are lumped together with the significant ones.

The Office of Legislative Research’s summary of the bill is far more complete than the CHRO testimony and highlights some of the substantive changes, but even that office’s summary misses some troubling changes. 

Here are three (among many) notable items from the bill worth a review, illustrating why this rushed bill is a bad idea at this time. 

Changes to “Mental Disability” – The bill expands the definition of a “mental disability” to not only “mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’, but also to including having “a record of or regarding a person as having one or more such disorders”.  

Continue Reading Revisions to CHRO-Related Statutes Under Consideration Include Damages for Emotional Distress

The Connecticut Appellate Court yesterday released two notable employment law decisions. They won’t become “official” until April 30, 2013, so you have some time to digest them.  I’ll cover one today and leave the other for a future post (though if you’re really curious you can read it here.)

To me, the more interesting

Last week, Attorney Robin Shea of Employment & Labor Insider proposed 10 rules of etiquette that “will save you from a pregnancy discrimination suit”.  Rule No. 1? Pregnancy is always good news.  Always. Always. Always.

If you haven’t read it, I’ll wait.

There are lots of rules regarding pregnancy that may come into play

A cab driver, who claims he suffers from cynophobia (a fear of dogs) and who refused to pick up a blind customer with a service dog, has filed a federal lawsuit against his employer for discrimination on account of his disability after he was fired. 

The suit of Ahmad v. Yellow Cab Co., which was

While I’m out at the ABA House of Delegates meeting (and will provide an update on that later on), the Connecticut Appellate Court today ruled that Connecticut’s anti-discrimination laws do not cover a “perceived disability” claim.

What does that mean? Under federal law, an employer who regards an employee as having a disability is prohibited

In May 2013, a fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected to be published.  It is widely anticipated in the mental health field.

What is the DSM-5 all about? DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental