News & Analysis as of

The Employee Zone Of Privacy

Employers should recognize an employee’s zone of privacy in the workplace. Business owners and managers need to understand that while they have their employees’ attention for much of the workday, there are limits. An employer...more

Christmas Won’t Be Merry For These Employers!

Oh, you better watch out! A lot of employers have been naughty. I checked the court dockets, and would you believe all of these employment lawsuits filed in the week before Christmas! ...more

Disaster and Pandemic Planning for Employers – A Primer

The only thing certain about disasters and pandemics is that they are uncertain. You never know who, what, where, why and when they will strike. But whatever the cause, a disaster or pandemic can have a serious impact on a...more

Tolerance for Prior Misconduct Does Not Prevent Termination Based on Latest Behavior

Some employers have a high threshold for tolerating abusive employees. Outbursts or confrontations that are grounds for automatic termination by one company may only prompt corrective action from another. A recent decision...more

FMLA Leave for Headache Effectively Converts Full-Time Position into Part-Time Position; Employers' Shrieks Heard Across the...

This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For...more

Employment Law Advice You Should Never Follow

This is terrible advice on so many levels. First, an employee who doesn’t have even the relatively minimal income provided by unemployment is going to be that much more likely to sue you — as a matter of financial survival,...more

Perceived Disability Now Recognized Under Connecticut Law

On Monday December 8, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Mireille Derosiers v. Diageo North America, Inc. et al. holding that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (the...more

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in Crosshairs of EEOC

Employers implementing new voluntary workplace wellness programs that are otherwise compliant with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nevertheless finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment...more

“Super” Anti-Harassment Policy May Create Unanticipated Liability

Ordinarily, employers think of anti-harassment policies as a means of defending themselves against harassment claims rather than a source of liability. However, a recent decision from a U.S. District Court in Connecticut...more

Sleeping Employee Wins $1 Million under the ADA

In a clear example of what not to do under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a simple and avoidable mistake turned into almost $1 million in liability for an employer accused of firing an employee for sleeping on the...more

Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA Do Not Require Changing a Job's Essential Functions

Weldon Williams, a pharmacist, suffered from diabetes which limited his ability to stand for extended periods of time. Williams sued his former employer Revco Discount Drug Centers, Inc., d/b/a CVS Pharmacy, Inc. ("CVS")...more

Legitimate Business Reasons Support Termination, Despite Employee's Recent Complaints of Discrimination

Employers often feel forced to walk on eggshells around employees who have made informal or formal complaints of discrimination, and often go so far as excusing otherwise inappropriate conduct for fear of a retaliation claim...more

Court Holds Supervalu/Jewel-Osco in Contempt for Violations of EEOC Consent Decree in Disability Case

Federal Agency Obtains Relief for Three Jewel Employees Denied Accommodation; Extension of Consent Decree by One Year; Jewel to Pay EEOC Attorneys' Fees - CHICAGO - Federal District Judge Ronald A. Guzman has entered a...more

EEOC Casts Uncertainty on Popular Wellness Programs

Action Item: Employers with wellness programs that involve higher premiums or other increased cost-sharing for employees who do not participate should contact us immediately to discuss their wellness strategies and to assess...more

5 Legal Traps For The Wariest Employer

You’re an employer who tries to do the right thing. But what hidden traps are out there, waiting to grab your ankle and yank you into a lawsuit? Here are a few that cause trouble for even the best employers...more

Employment Law 101: Americans with Disabilities Act

Who does it apply to: The law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. What is the issue: It is against the law to discriminate against an employee or a prospective employee based on a disability the person...more

Responding to West-African Employees who Travel to Ebola-Affected Countries - Employee Rights vs. Public Health Concerns

Buried near the end of articles in the New York Times and The Washington Post about the first United States Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the observation that the quarantine being imposed on Mr. Duncan’s fiancée, her...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

EEOC Challenges Honeywell’s Wellness Program

The EEOC recently sued Honeywell International, Inc., claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although the EEOC...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

Zero Tolerance for Marijuana Use by Employees: A Prescription for Litigation?

The dramatic inconsistency between federal and state law with regard to the use of marijuana may mean that employers with zero tolerance policies for marijuana use will face an increasing likelihood of litigation over the...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 4: EEOC v. Honeywell and the Future of Wellness Programs

While my entries have focused principally on the employer shared responsibility rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every once in a while an item comes along that nevertheless grabs my attention. The treatment of wellness...more

The Importance of Timing in Employment Terminations

There is a saying that “timing is everything,” and in some instances of employment termination, the timing, if not everything, may still be an important consideration....more

LITIGATION ALERT: Can Employers Prohibit Employees From Discussing Their Salaries?

As we approach the end of the year, many employers are in the process of completing annual performance reviews and making decisions related to employee compensation. As a result of normal water cooler talk and office...more

Pregnancy Accommodation

A significant Pregnancy Discrimination Act case is before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., (No.12-1226, cert. granted July 1, 2014, 4th Cir., 707 F.3d 437 (2013)) (referred to in this...more

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