Legislation that would make changes to the state’s laws on sexual harassment and discrimination passed the General Assembly.  The law would, among other things, expand the sexual harassment training requirements, increase the time to file a civil rights charge, and increase the remedies available to complainants at the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

However,

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear three cases regarding whether Title VII, the federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The result is expected to be landmark decisions settling questions in employment

Last week the CHRO released its case data for FY 2018.  Overall, the numbers do not dramatically differ from FY 2017.  However, perhaps not surprisingly given the media coverage of the viral #MeToo movement beginning in October 2017, some notable increases emerged.

The increase in the overall number of complaints filed in FY 2018 rose

The United States Department of Justice recently filed a friend of the court brief with the Eastern District Court of New York arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover sexual orientation.  However despite what is taking place at the National level, Connecticut has a separate statute which governs discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation.  Connecticut General Statute 46a-81c states that:

It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section: (1) For an employer, by himself or his agent, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment any individual or to discriminate against him in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the individual’s sexual orientation or civil union status, (2) for any employment agency, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to fail or refuse to classify properly or refer for employment or otherwise to discriminate against any individual because of the individual’s sexual orientation or civil union status, (3) for a labor organization, because of the sexual orientation or civil union status of any individual to exclude from full membership rights or to expel from its membership such individual or to discriminate in any way against any of its members or against any employer or any individual employed by an employer, unless such action is based on a bona fide occupational qualification, or (4) for any person, employer, employment agency or labor organization, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to advertise employment opportunities in such a manner as to restrict such employment so as to discriminate against individuals because of their sexual orientation or civil union status.
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The Second Circuit recently adopted the “cat’s paw” theory of liability for retaliation claims brought under Title VII, holding that “an employee’s retaliatory intent may be imputed to an employer where the employer’s own negligence gives effect to the employee’s retaliatory animus and cause the victim to suffer an adverse employment decision.” Vasquez v. Empress

The Appellate Court of Connecticut, in a long awaited decision, recently held in Tomick v. UPS, 157 Conn. App. 312 (Conn. App. Ct. 2015), that a plaintiff cannot recover punitive damages under Connecticut’s statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”).  The Court accordingly set aside the jury’s $500,000 award

If you work or operate a business long enough, it is inevitable that the decision to terminate will be made at some point.  This decision, while not an easy one to make, is compounded by issues that can arise immediately after when the terminated employee believes they were “wrongfully terminated” and seek redress through a

On October 1, 2014 Public Act 14-27 went into effect which revamped Connecticut’s provisional pardon law (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-130a).  The revisions were based on the recommendations of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission and under this new bill: “a provisional pardon or certificate [of rehabilitation] creates a presumption of rehabilitation. The bill requires the state

Have you as an employer ever written in a job posting that only currently employed or recently unemployed applicants will be considered, or denied an applicant because he or she had a history of unemployment?

It sounds counterintuitive at first—like a restaurant turning away hungry people—but some employers may be concerned that unemployment itself indicates a lack of requisite experience or that a long-unemployed individual is motivated for any job at all.  A Connecticut bill currently under consideration would prohibit such hiring practices, following in the footsteps of New York City, New Jersey, Oregon, and D.C.

House Bill 5274, as amended, An Act Concerning Unemployed Individuals and Discriminatory Hiring Practices, would prohibit employers, employment agencies, and temporary help services from taking several actions if they are based solely on a person’s “status as unemployed.”  “Status as unemployed” includes not only current unemployment, but also past gaps in employment, regardless of duration.  The prohibited actions include:  (1) disqualifying a person from employment; (2) refusing to refer a person for employment (or requesting that he or she not be referred); and (3) limiting a person’s access to information about a job.


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