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,

In a given year, about 2,000 complaints of employment discrimination are filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO).  For some employers, the receipt of a CHRO charge is their first exposure to the legal system (other than Unemployment).  The employer has only thirty days to respond to the charge, and only

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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Just before the end of the legislative session, Public Act 17-118: An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace, passed and is expected to be signed by the Governor.  Effective October 1st, this Bill amends Connecticut’s existing Pregnancy Discrimination Statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60 by expanding the employment protections provided to pregnant women and requiring employers to provide a reasonable workplace accommodations unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would be an undue hardship. The bill also prohibits employers from (1) limiting, segregating, or classifying an employee in a way that would deprive her of employment opportunities due to her pregnancy or (2) forcing a pregnant employee or applicant to accept a reasonable accommodation if she does not need one. It also eliminates certain employment protection provisions related to transfers to temporary positions for pregnant workers.
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In a recently released decision, CHRO v. Echo Hose Ambulance, et al, a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s dismissal of the CHRO’s appeal of a human rights referee’s determination that a volunteer was not an employee for purposes of Connecticut Fair Employment Practice Act, Conn, Gen. Stat. §461-60, et seq. (“CFEPA”) The

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

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.,

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

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