Connecticut Labor and Employment Law Journal

Connecticut Labor and Employment Law Journal

Category Archives: Discrimination

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Retaliatory Intent of Employees May Be Imputed to Employer in Title VII Retaliation Claim

Posted in Discrimination
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… Continue Reading

A Win for Employers: Appellate Court Holds Punitive Damages Not Recoverable in Discrimination Case

Posted in Discrimination
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 of… Continue Reading

The New Connecticut Provisional Pardon Law and What you Need to Know

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies
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… Continue Reading

After-Acquired Evidence Permitted to Prove Non-Discriminatory Basis for Termination

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies
Most of the time, when an employer terminates an employee, and that employee sues, a court will not let an employer introduce evidence uncovered after the decision to terminate.  However an exception has been added due to a recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals where it was held that evidence that is… Continue Reading

Proposed Connecticut Bill Prohibits Employers From Taking Certain Actions Based on Unemployment Status

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies
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… Continue Reading

$168 Million Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Verdict

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies, Municipal Labor
According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, a California jury recently awarded a hospital employee $168 million, including $125 million in punitive damages, to a female physician assistant who endured two years of sexually inappropriate behavior and then was fired for reporting the harassment as well as patient care violations.  The perpetrators included cardiac… Continue Reading

The Fine Art of Crafting Age Discrimination Waivers

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies
It is no secret that most employers attempt to manage the risk of litigation through the use of employee separation agreements.  A recent Second Circuit decision serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of drafting separation agreements which will stand up to attack. Earlier this month, in Ridinger v. Dow Jones & Co., the… Continue Reading

Proceedings Remain Suspended for Second Week at Office of Public Hearing

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Benefits, Employer Policies, Municipal Labor
Effective July 1, 2011, all cases before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Office of Public Hearing were suspended, see pdf, as the Governor failed to appoint new referees for the term beginning July 1, 2011.  To date, new referees have yet to be appointed.  This all comes as a result of Connecticut’s current… Continue Reading


Posted in Discrimination, Employee Benefits, Employer Policies
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes.  As expected, the decision was a victory for the retail giant.  The Court denied the plaintiffs the right to proceed as a class on the grounds that the class failed to meet the commonality requirement, since the action was… Continue Reading

BMD Attorneys Speak at Connecticut Law Tribune’s Annual In-House Counsel CLE Lecture

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Benefits
I had the fortunate opportunity to speak on Wednesday with Mike Devlin to a group of in-house counsel at the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Annual In-House Counsel CLE Lecture.  The topic of discussion was recent employment law developments.  Topics included the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, NLRB trends under the Obama administration, the new… Continue Reading

New Bill Codifies CHRO Position on Gender Identity Protections

Posted in Discrimination, Employer Policies
In addition to the paid sick leave law which we’ve been closing following as its made its way through the General Assembly, a new law affecting employers which will make “gender identity or expression” a new protected category passed the General Assembly this weekend and is heading to the Governor’s desk.   Few employers will be… Continue Reading

David Versus Goliath: Supreme Court Hears Landmark Class Action

Posted in Discrimination
All eyes are on the United States Supreme Court in a case that involves millions of female employees facing off against the nation’s largest retailer.  The United States Supreme Court heard arguments in March on the most closely watched case before it this year, and the largest employment class action in history, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.… Continue Reading

New Legislation Protects Employees Who are Victims of Family Violence

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Benefits
On October 1, 2010, a new Connecticut law went into effect which provides additional employment protections to victims of family violence and an allowance of leave time for employees dealing with issues relating to family violence. Before October 1, 2010, Connecticut law prohibited employers from terminating, penalizing, threatening, or otherwise coercing employees with respect to… Continue Reading

Retaliation Claims Create Bigger Headache for Employers than Discrimination Claims

Posted in Discrimination
In 2010, retaliation surpassed race for the first time ever as the most frequently filed charge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is of great concern, given that retaliation is often far easier to prove than discrimination, and given that there has been a national trend of high damage awards issued… Continue Reading