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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 law that have persisted for decades. It is difficult to imagine that when Title VII was enacted in 1964, Congress…
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a landmark federal statute that protects the rights of children with disabilities to receive a free and appropriate public education. One of the keys to ensuring that a public school district provides an appropriate education is the proper evaluation of the impact of the child’s disability on his/her education. The IDEA requires schools to conduct a range of comprehensive and periodic evaluations for each child who has…
The IDEA currently requires a parent to “exhaust administrative remedies” before filing a complaint based on another statute, if the parent seeks relief that is available under the IDEA.  In other words, a parent must file an IDEA due process complaint before filing a disability discrimination complaint in federal court under Section 504 or Title II, if the parent seeks relief which can be provided through due process.  In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued…
Only a few months into the new legislative session, Connecticut’s legislators appear ready to tackle some big issues impacting Connecticut employers in 2019. Although several employment-related initiatives took effect January 1, 2019, including mandatory IRA requirements for private sector employers; expansion of certain health care benefits for women and individuals under 21; and prohibitions on salary history inquiries (see prior posts here and here), Connecticut employers did not see many significant statutory changes in…
Here we are again, another legislative year when the General Assembly appears determined to follow neighboring states Massachusetts and New York and pass legislation creating paid family medical leave in Connecticut.  The current proposal, which has already passed out of the Labor & Public Employees Committee, does far more than create paid family leave; it expands the definition of eligible employees and covered employers and greatly broadens the qualifying circumstances for leave. As an initial…
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a proposed rule that would change the minimum salary threshold for exemption for the so-called “white collar” exemptions – the administrative, executive, and professional exemptions. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employees receive minimum wage and overtime (calculated at one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay for hours over 40) unless they are “exempt” from one or both requirements. The most popular exemptions are the…
The United States Department of Education recently closed the public comment period for its proposed Title IX regulations, and school boards and administrators must be ready for significant changes in the coming months.  The regulations, while not yet finalized, will replace existing guidance from the Office for Civil Rights regarding in the investigation and remediation of sexual harassment in educational programs or activities.  School boards and administrators should therefore be prepared to revise their…
Connecticut employers with employees who work or even who simply reside in Massachusetts must abide by Massachusetts’ onerous new non-compete law.  Under the new law, a provision in a non-compete providing for the application of another state’s (such as Connecticut’s) law is not enforceable if the employee is, and has been, a resident of or employed in Massachusetts for at least 30 days before his or her employment ceases.  The law applies to non-compete agreements entered into…
If employers haven’t done so already, it’s time to revise job applications and interview questions to eliminate inquiries about past pay history for job applicants.  As discussed in a previous post (here), in May 2018, Connecticut became one of a growing number of states to enact legislation aimed at addressing the pay inequality issue by prohibiting employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history. Although Connecticut had previously enacted pay…
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 slightly from FY 2017 (up from 2376 to 2484).  While not alarming, in the past we have seen the number…