Sharon Palmer, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor, will retire at the end of this year, news that was first reported by the CT Mirror website.

According to CT Mirror:

In an interview, she described her decision to retire as driven by age and circumstance, not politics or a consequence of overseeing the

Over the last week, two unrelated stories caught my eye.  For employers, they are a reminder that claims of pay inequality based on gender are still something to be concerned about. 

Photo Courtesy Library of Congress c. 1943

The first story is that Governor Malloy announced plans for a new study to examine “factors that contribute to the gender wage gap in Connecticut’s workforce.” 

The study will be run by  new Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Sharon Palmer and Department of Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith.  The Governor has asked the commissioners to make recommendations on the issue by October 2013.   

I’ve talked about this issue before; there are some who believe that the wage gap is overstated.  But the study will make headlines this year and this renewed focus in Connecticut on the issue should have employers revisiting their own practices.

The second story illustrates the claim in much more real world terms and shows the perils of trying to navigate your way through such claims. 

In Morse v. Pratt & Whitney, decided last week, a federal court — among other issues — denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an Title VII unequal pay claim.


Continue Reading Gender Inequality Claims Make Headlines in Case and in New Study

To the surprise of absolutely no one, earlier this month Governor Malloy signed the new Paid Sick Leave and the new Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination bills.

With the Governor’s approval, the paid sick leave bill now becomes effective January 1, 2012.

The anti-discrimination provisions of the gender identity bill are effective October 1, 2011.

For more

Can a union president and a former HR Director work together effectively? 

We’ll soon find out at the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Governor Dannel Malloy this afternoon selected Glenn Marshall to serve as the new commissioner of the Department of Labor, and picked Dennis Murphy as the agency’s new deputy commissioner.

In a press release issued

There’s been plenty written about what the impact of the federal elections will be on national legislative efforts.  While at an ABA Conference last week, various legislative initiatives concerning independent contractors and the Employee Free Choice Act were now seen as as DOA.

But in Connecticut, we elected the first Democrat as Governor in over two