workplace discrimination

Next month, Connecticut legislators from across the political spectrum are set to formally introduce a bill prohibiting employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s age, birthday, or graduation date, unless necessary for a bona fide employment reason.  At an announcement on Thursday, January 16, 2020, a wide ranging group of elected officials and other stakeholders heralded the measure as a protection for older workers facing age discrimination in the labor market.  Connecticut has the sixth oldest workforce in the country.  A similar bill, H.B. No. 6113, passed the Labor Committee last year, but was never presented for a vote in the House.

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I’ve said before and I’ll say it again.  Zero-tolerance policies are a bad idea when addressing sexual harassment complaints.  In fact, they shouldn’t even apply to complaints about discrimination or workplace infractions.  Although zero-tolerance policies convey the impression that an employer is taking a hard line stand against conduct it wants to discourage or eliminate, the reality is a little more complicated, just like the workplace.
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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released data detailing breakdowns for the charges of workplace discrimination it received in 2018. Sexual harassment charges increased 13.6% from 2017 – making sexual harassment the second most frequent charge filed with the EEOC.  Overall, the agency received 7,609 sexual harassment charges and obtained $56.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of sexual harassment.
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