Topic: Discrimination

The Law Governing Unpaid Interns, Part II: Rights Under Federal and State Nondiscrimination Laws

This is the second of two blogs covering the law governing unpaid interns and volunteers. Our first blog reviewed the basic criteria for determining whether a worker can properly be considered an unpaid intern or volunteer. This blog focuses on the rights of these uncompensated workers under federal and state nondiscrimination laws. Federal Law For…

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It’s Almost Summer! Time to Review the Law Governing Interns, Part I

It’s that time of year again when employers who take on interns and volunteers for the summer are reminded that they must comply with federal and state wage and hour laws (see our own blogs on this subject here and here). There have been a few new developments in the law governing unpaid workers over…

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Bringing Your Dog to Work: Service Animals as Disability Accommodation

The reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability that may be required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act can take many forms, including an employee coming to work each day accompanied an animal. The ADA and the FEPA have two main components for persons with disabilities: protections for employees…

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

The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee was active before its March 17, 2016 deadline for approving bills, voting favorably and advancing many bills out of committee. Consistent with the Governor’s numerous “second chance” initiatives, the Committee approved a bill that would prevent certain employers from a) requiring job applicants to disclose their criminal…

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Bad News, Good News: Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Sometimes Need Not Show He Was Qualified, But May Never Recover Punitive Damages

In a decision to be officially released on May 19, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court has addressed two interesting issues in the state law of employment discrimination, one of which is of considerable importance (and comfort) to employers. First, the court identified a relatively unusual situation in which a plaintiff claiming that he was discriminated…

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2015 Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Seminar

Pullman & Comley is pleased to continue its annual seminar on labor and employment law with a program that offers Connecticut businesses practical, real world tactics to address the many labor and employment and employee benefits issues they face today. Topics that will be covered include: Responding to a Retaliation, Discrimination or Harassment Claim The…

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Department of Justice To Assert Title VII Protects Transgender Status

In a memorandum dated December 15, 2014,  the United States Attorney General has changed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position with respect to the protection of transgender status under Title VII. While the DOJ had previously maintained that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination did not encompass gender identity per se, the DOJ will now…

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A Strange Case of Sexual Harassment

In a lawsuit currently pending in the Superior Court, an employee is accusing her supervisor of:  Urging her to go to the beach and wear a bikini, Calling her into his office to view images of naked women on his computer, Discussing “sex toys” with her, Relentlessly urging her to go to a “sex shop”…

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Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?” The majority of the time, the answer is “No.” That said, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does…

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