Conn.: Expanding Hostile Work Environment Protections

Law360, New York (June 14, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT) -- Employers in Connecticut have a duty to protect employees from harassment based on sexual orientation that is just as compelling as their duty to prevent workplace harassment based on race, sex and other protected characteristics.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has recently made this clear in Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Co.[1], a unanimous decision that affirms a jury award of $94,500 for emotional distress suffered by an employee who was subjected to a hostile work environment because of his sexual orientation.

Factual Background

Luis Patino had worked...
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