Topic: Discrimination

What Is the Extent of an Employer’s Liability For the Acts of an Employee?

An employer can be liable for injury done by an employee to a third party under the doctrine known as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability can arise when the employee’s activity that caused the injury was done 1) on the express orders or directions of the employer, 2) carrying out the employer’s business within the scope…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Has Spoken

We earlier had written about the proposed bills that the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at its February 21, 2017 and March 2, 2017 meetings. On March 9th, the Committee acted just ahead of its March 14, 2017 deadline and approved the following bills: LEAVES…

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Gender Identity Bathroom Access – From Schools To The Workplace

As readers of our Education Law Notes blog are well aware, there has been a lot of focus on the rights of transgender students with respect to bathroom access in educational institutions under Title IX. The rights of transgender employees to utilize the bathroom matching their gender identity under Title VII, however, has received far…

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Workers Comp Continues To Be Exclusive Remedy for Workplace Injuries

Workers compensation laws are among the oldest protective labor statutes, dating back to the early 1900’s. Workers compensation embodies a simple tradeoff: employees may not bring personal injury lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries, but in return there is mandatory insurance so that claims can be processed quickly with funds available for payment, and…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Labor and Public Employees Committee Begins to Speak

At its February 21, 2017 and March 2, 2017 meetings, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee began the process of approving bills. The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed bills that the Labor and Public Employees Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at those meetings:…

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EEOC: Harassment Continues to be a Serious Problem in the Workplace

Unlawful harassment is alive and well in the workplace. According to a report issued last year by a Select Task Force of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace (the “Task Force Report”), almost one third of all charges received by the EEOC in 2015 included an allegation…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 16th Public Hearing (Wage/Hour and Leave)

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public hearing on the following proposed bills, many of which concern “wage and hour” and leave issues (and some of which were considered last year): S.B. No. 13 AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE.  This proposed bill would…

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The Same Actor Defense Requires the Same Stage

Employment defense lawyers are fond of the “same actor” defense to discrimination claims because it combines legal theory and common sense. The same actor inference can be used in cases based on claims of discrimination on account of characteristics such as race, gender or ethnicity, where the same supervisor both hired and fired the plaintiff.…

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Finding Ways to Sue

An employee who is terminated from employment does not have a legal right to sue the employer simply because he believes that the termination was “unfair.” While union contracts typically contain a provision that discipline, including termination, be for just cause, there is no similar statute or rule of law that protects non-union employees generally.…

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Firing Employees For Private Facebook Posts: Employers Should Proceed With Caution

The recent filing of a lawsuit by a former television anchor against her former employer has magnified the need for employers to have a sound and meaningful social media policy. Former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania news anchor, Wendy Bell, was fired after she made a post on her personal Facebook page about the murder of six people…

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Should You Allow Your Employees Time Off to Vote? Three Considerations for Connecticut Employers

Election Day is now less than two weeks away. While many states require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote, Connecticut is not one of them. Employers in the state should, however, keep the following considerations in mind: If you provide your employees with paid vacation, personal days or other paid time…

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Update on the Employment Application Process and Background Checks

Now that Massachusetts has barred its employers from asking job applicants about salary information (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4509 ), and Connecticut has joined the “Ban the Box” trend (prohibiting employers from asking applicants about arrests and convictions in an initial job application), and since many businesses still do not understand either the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act’s requirements…

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Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone else with relevant knowledge. A recent decision from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, whose decisions govern the Connecticut federal…

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Differences in Public Policy Can Affect Claims of Wrongful Discharge

Most jurisdictions, including Connecticut, recognize a tort of “wrongful discharge” as an exception to the principle of employment at will. Although employment at will generally allows either the employer or the employee to terminate the employment relationship at any time, employers may not use employment at will to justify the termination of an employee for…

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There Are Limits to Connecticut’s Employee Free Speech Law

It has long been recognized as a matter of federal constitutional law that public employees cannot be deprived by the government of their right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment, even though the government is also their employer. Public employees have the right to speak out about matters of public concern (which…

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