Author: Rachel Ginsburg

More Lawsuits This Holiday Season?

Employers are acutely aware of the legal pitfalls that come with the holiday season. Office parties and alcohol are a potent recipe for bad judgment, and that bad judgment leads to harassment charges and lawsuits.  Another common occurrence during the holiday season is the payment of discretionary bonuses to employees. Now, after the recent Second…

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Recent Colorado Supreme Court Decision on Medical Marijuana Highlights Risks Facing Employers in Connecticut Who Seek to Enforce Drug Free Workplace Policies

As many of our clients know, we frequently train and counsel employers on the implications of Connecticut’s medical marijuana law in the workplace.  Although medical marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, Connecticut’s statute legalizes medical marijuana use in the state and affords users and caregivers certain protections.  One of these protections is contained in…

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Avoid Being the Test Case for Gender Identity Discrimination

A former sales associate at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Houston, Texas store recently filed suit in federal court claiming discrimination based on her gender identity.  Leyth Jamal is a transgender individual who identifies as a woman.  She claims that during her employment with Sak’s, managers persistently harassed her about her gender identity.  Specifically, Jamal claims that…

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Perceived Disability Now Recognized Under Connecticut Law

On Monday December 8, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Mireille Derosiers v. Diageo North America, Inc. et al. holding that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (the state counterpart to federal employment discrimination statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals whom…

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Is the CHRO Expanding its Reach into Schools and Police Actions?

I recently attended a meeting where Charles Krich, the Principal Attorney for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”), spoke about the future of the agency.  Attorney Krich stated that the agency is seeking to become a more active “civil rights agency” and is expanding its reach beyond the landlord-tenant and employer-employee relationships…

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Testing the Boundaries of the Faragher/Ellerth Defense in Sexual Harassment Cases

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court created a defense for employers accused of permitting a supervisor to engage in unlawful sexual harassment of an employee.  In two seminal cases, the Court held that an employer is not vicariously liable for a supervisor’s workplace harassment of a subordinate if the employer can show: (1) that it…

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Hear No Evil; See No Evil: The General Corporate Knowledge Presumption

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of Kwan v. The Andalex Group LLC, – F.3d – (2d Cir. 2013) as it related to the likelihood of obtaining summary judgment on Title VII retaliation claims in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Nassar decision, which seemingly raised the employee’s standard of proof of…

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Employee Gripes: When Employers Should Take Them Seriously

An employee’s speech in the workplace may be disruptive to the day-to-day running of your company or worse, downright offensive and “bad for business.”  This blog post will discuss when an employer is free to discipline an employee for their speech and when they can not because some speech begets legal protection while other speech…

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The Meaning of “But-For” Harassment: The Second Circuit Breaks Its Silence and it is not Good for Employers

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Title VII retaliation claims must be proven according to traditional principles of “but-for” causation.  Since Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S. Ct. 2517 (2013),  employees must now provide proof that but for the employer’s retaliatory animus, the employee would not have been terminated,…

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