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Employment Law

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4047

AC42551 - Stubbs v. ICare Management, LLC (Employment discrimination; "The plaintiff, Tanya Stubbs, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, ICare Management, LLC (ICare), and Meriden Care Center, LLC (Meriden), on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged violations of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. In particular, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants terminated her due to her disability, failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation for her disability, and retaliated against her for requesting a reasonable accommodation. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in determining that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to whether (1) the defendants' stated reason for their termination of the plaintiff's employment was pretextual and as to whether, at the time her employment was terminated, she was qualified, with or without a reasonable accommodation, to perform the essential functions of her job, and (2) the defendants failed to provide the plaintiff with a reasonable accommodation. Because there are genuine issues of material fact as to the plaintiff's claims of discrimination and failure to accommodate, we reverse the judgment of the trial court as to those claims. We affirm the trial court's judgment as to the plaintiff's claims of retaliation because she has failed to brief the claims and, therefore, has abandoned them.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3940

C20257 - Karagozian v. USV Optical, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Ohan Karagozian, an optician formerly employed by the defendant, USV Optical, Inc., brought this action for constructive discharge, alleging that (1) the defendant required him to provide optometric assistance services to a doctor of optometry in violation of the public policy of the state of Connecticut, (2) the defendant refused and failed to excuse the plaintiff from those duties, and (3) "[a]s a result, the plaintiff was compelled to resign his position with the defendant . . . ." The defendant moved to strike the plaintiff's corrected revised complaint on the ground that the allegations in the complaint could not, as a matter of law, satisfy the requirements of a constructive discharge claim. The trial court granted the defendant's motion to strike, relying on Brittell v. Dept. of Correction, 247 Conn. 148, 178, 717 A.2d 1254 (1998), for the proposition that a claim of constructive discharge requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that the employer intended to force the employee to resign. The trial court determined that the plaintiff had not only failed to allege this intent requirement in his complaint, but also failed to allege the second requirement of a constructive discharge claim—that his work conditions became so intolerable that a reasonable person in his shoes would have felt compelled to resign.

Interpreting and applying our decision in Brittell in the same fashion as the trial court, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment, concluding that there was "no allegation in the complaint that reasonably [could] be construed to claim that the defendant intended to create conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person would be compelled to resign." (Emphasis in original.) Karagozian v. USV Optical, Inc., 186 Conn. App. 857, 867–68, 201 A.3d 500 (2019). We disagree with the Appellate Court's interpretation of Brittell, although we affirm its judgment on the alternative ground it identified.")


New Office of Legislative Research Report

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3923

The Office of Legislative Research has recently published the following report:

OLR Backgrounder: Employment-Related Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - 2020-R-0104 - This report describes the employment-related provisions in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. More specifically, it summarizes the act’s provisions on emergency family and medical leave, emergency paid sick leave, and emergency unemployment insurance. It does not discuss the related federal tax credits provided to employers for these provisions.


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3913

AC41981 - Board of Education v. Waterbury Teachers Assn., CEA-NEA ("The defendant, the Waterbury Teachers Association, CEA-NEA (union), appeals from the judgment of the trial court vacating an arbitration award in favor of the plaintiff, the Board of Education of the City of Waterbury (board). On appeal, the union claims that the trial court erred in concluding that (1) the arbitrator so imperfectly executed his powers that a mutual, final, and definite award on the subject matter submitted was not made, and (2) the arbitration award violates public policy. We agree with both of the union's claims and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3849

SC20243 - Graham v. Friedlander (Negligent hiring; "The plaintiffs, the parents of four school-age children, individually and on behalf of their children, brought this action against the Board of Education of the City of Norwalk (board) and three of its members, in their official capacities (board defendants), the city of Norwalk (city), and Spectrum Kids, LLC, and its owner . . . On appeal, we are asked to determine whether the claims alleged in the plaintiffs' complaint seek relief for a failure to provide special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (act), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., thus triggering an administrative exhaustion requirement contained in that act and within General Statutes § 10-76h, or whether the plaintiffs' action seeks relief for something other than the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE), thereby relieving the plaintiffs of the exhaustion requirement. To decide this issue at this stage in the litigation—on review of the trial court's decision to grant the board defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of a failure to exhaust administrative remedies—we must confine our inquiry to the allegations in the plaintiffs' complaint. On the basis of those allegations, we conclude that the plaintiffs seek relief for something other than the denial of a FAPE and were, therefore, not obligated to exhaust their administrative remedies. Accordingly, we agree with the plaintiffs that the trial court improperly dismissed their action on the ground that the plaintiffs had not exhausted their administrative remedies. As an alternative ground for upholding the granting of the motion to dismiss, the defendants ask us to determine that the board defendants acted as agents of the state in providing special education services, therefore entitling them to sovereign immunity. We agree with the trial court that the board defendants were acting under the control of, and as an agent of, the municipality rather than the state, and were not entitled to sovereign immunity. Accordingly, we uphold the trial court's denial of the board defendants' motion to dismiss on the sovereign immunity ground. . .

The judgment is reversed only as to the granting of the board defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and the case is remanded with direction to deny the board defendants' motion to dismiss as to the exhaustion claim and for further proceedings according to law; the judgment is affirmed in all other respects.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3771

AC42215 - Sempey v. Stamford Hospital ("The plaintiff, Merinda J. Sempey, a former employee of the defendant, Stamford Hospital, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following the court's decision striking all four counts of the plaintiff's operative complaint. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court committed error because she sufficiently had pleaded causes of action for wrongful discharge, defamation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3662

AC41478 - Alvarez v. Middletown ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Ulyses Alvarez, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, the city of Middletown. The dispositive issue is whether the court properly determined that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the defendant's nondiscriminatory justification for the plaintiff's discharge was merely a pretext for unlawful discrimination. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3466

AC40784 - Praisner v. State ("The defendant, the state of Connecticut, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion for summary judgment in this indemnification action brought by the plaintiff, Martin J. Praisner, Jr., pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53-39a. On appeal, the state contends that the court improperly concluded that the action was not barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3458

AC41304 - Barbabosa v. Board of Education ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Dianna Barbabosa, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the Board of Education of the Town of Manchester, on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged that the defendant had discriminated against her on the basis of her disability and had failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly rendered summary judgment because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to a common essential element of both of her claims, namely, whether the plaintiff could perform the essential functions of her job with or without a reasonable accommodation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3427

AC40941 - Taing v. CAMRAC, LLC ("This appeal arises from a pregnancy discrimination action brought by the plaintiff, Mouy Taing, under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act against the defendant, CAMRAC, LLC, after she was terminated from her employment with the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant. Specifically, she claims that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant's proffered reason for her termination was pretextual. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40377 - McKiernan v. Civil Service Commission ("The plaintiff, Edward McKiernan, appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered after a trial to the court, denying his request for a declaratory judgment allowing him to retake the oral assessment portion of the city of Bridgeport's 2015 detective promotional examination and prohibiting the defendants from certifying the results of that examination or promoting candidates on the basis of those results. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by rendering judgment in favor of the defendants on the basis of its finding that the challenged examination was administered in accordance with the requirements of the charter of the city of Bridgeport. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3406

AC41322 - Andrade v. Lego Systems, Inc. ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Drey Andrade, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lego Systems, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was insufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the circumstances surrounding the defendant's termination of the plaintiff's employment could give rise to an inference of discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3369

SC20069 - O'Brien v. New Haven ("PER CURIAM. The plaintiff, William O'Brien, the former tax assessor of the defendant, the city of New Haven (city), commenced this action, seeking indemnification pursuant to General Statutes § 7-101a (b) for the attorney's fees and costs he incurred in successfully defending himself in a prior action brought by a third party, Tax Data Solutions, LLC. Following a court trial, the court rendered judgment for O'Brien and awarded him the attorney's fees and costs he incurred in that prior action. On appeal to the Appellate Court, the city claimed that the trial court incorrectly concluded that O'Brien's claim was not time barred under § 7-101a (d), which provides that no action against a municipality for indemnification under § 7-101a may be maintained unless that action is 'commenced within two years after the cause of action therefor arose nor unless written notice of the intention to commence such action and of the time when and the place where the damages were incurred or sustained has been filed with the clerk of such municipality within six months after such cause of action has accrued.' The Appellate Court rejected the city's claim, holding that the 'cause of action' referred to in § 7-101a (d) is the cause of action for indemnification and not, as the city had maintained, the earlier, underlying action in which the attorney's fees and costs were incurred. See O'Brien v. New Haven, 178 Conn. App. 469, 487–88, 175 A.3d 589 (2017). The Appellate Court therefore concluded that the present indemnification action did not arise until judgment had been rendered for O'Brien in the action brought against him by Tax Data Solutions, LLC. See id. Because O'Brien commenced the present action within two years of that date and provided the statutorily required notice within six months of that date, the Appellate Court further concluded that the trial court properly had determined that the present action was timely. See id., 488. We granted the city's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court properly affirm the judgment of the trial court interpreting when [O'Brien's] cause of action for indemnification accrued for the purposes of the notice requirement and time limitations set forth in . . . § 7-101a (d)?' O'Brien v. New Haven, 328 Conn. 909, 178 A.3d 1041 (2018).

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.

The appeal is dismissed.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3347

AC39835 - Daley v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. ("The defendants, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (J.B. Hunt), and David Bryant, appeal, and the plaintiff, Dwight Daley, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in accordance with a jury verdict returned in favor of the plaintiff. The threshold issue raised by the defendants on appeal that we must resolve is whether the court erred in declining to conduct a postverdict evidentiary hearing to determine whether one of the jurors, R.L., had been competent to serve on the jury. We conclude that the court committed error, and we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings while retaining our jurisdiction over the remaining claims on appeal and over the cross appeal pending the outcome of the proceedings on remand.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3326

AC40597 - Boucher v. Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Darlene Boucher, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of her employer, the defendant, Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC, on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged that her employer retaliated against her when she complained about being sexually harassed by a coworker. See General Statutes § 46a-60 (b) (4). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to her retaliation claim. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40130 - Fitzgerald v. Bridgeport ("The defendant Manuel Cotto appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his counterclaim and in favor of the plaintiffs. The court struck Cotto's name from the eligibility list for promotion to police captain after concluding that Cotto had not met the eligibility requirements and should not have been allowed to take the captain examination. On appeal, Cotto claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed his counterclaim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis that he had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and (2) determined that a twenty-second lieutenant position was not established as required pursuant to § 206 (d) of the charter of the city of Bridgeport. He claims in the alternative that even if the trial court properly determined that the twenty-second lieutenant position was not established as required, the court's conclusion that he was ineligible to take the captain examination constituted an improper sanction of an illegal appointment. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3308

AC40907 - Karagozian v. USV Optical, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Ohan Karagozian, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court subsequent to its granting of the motion to strike the complaint filed by the defendant, USV Optical, Inc. The substance of the plaintiff's claim on appeal is that the court improperly concluded that he had failed to state a claim for constructive discharge. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40197 - Hospital Media Network, LLC v. Henderson ("The self-represented defendant, James G. Henderson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a hearing in damages upon default as to liability, awarding the plaintiff, Hospital Media Network, LLC, monetary relief pursuant to the equitable theories of forfeiture and disgorgement in the amount of $454,579.76 on its claim of breach of fiduciary duty. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court's award was improper because the plaintiff failed to prove it suffered any damages. We conclude that the court abused its discretion in ordering a wholesale forfeiture of the defendant's salary and bonus and requiring the defendant to disgorge in full all profits received from third parties, such that the award, in the full amount requested by the plaintiff, was inequitable. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court as to the award of damages against James Henderson and remand the case for a new hearing in damages. We otherwise affirm the court's judgment.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3231

AC40184 - Agosto v. Premier Maintenance, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Ismael Agosto, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Premier Maintenance, Inc., on all counts of the second revised complaint in which the plaintiff alleged religious discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) utilized the pretext/McDonnell Douglas-Burdine model; Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 252–56, 101 S. Ct. 1089, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207 (1981); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973); rather than the mixed-motive/Price Waterhouse model of analysis; Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 246, 109 S. Ct. 1775, 104 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1989); when adjudicating the defendant's motion for summary judgment, (2) improperly concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to the circumstances under which he was discharged from employment that give rise to a prima facie inference of religious discrimination and (3) improperly concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact that he was not engaged in a protected activity that gave rise to a claim of retaliatory discharge. We disagree, and thus affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3221

AC40188 - Martinez v. Premier Maintenance, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Luis Martinez, appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Premier Maintenance, Inc., on all three counts of the plaintiff's second revised complaint alleging religious discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) utilized the pretext/McDonnell Douglas-Burdine model; Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 252–56, 101 S. Ct. 1089, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207 (1981); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973); rather than the mixed-motive/Price Waterhouse model of analysis; Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 246, 109 S. Ct. 1775, 104 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1989); when adjudicating the motion for summary judgment, (2) concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether he had demonstrated a prima facie case of employment discrimination, and (3) concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact that he was not engaged in a protected activity under the act. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3209

AC39747 - Robles v. West Avenue Dental, P.C. ("The defendants West Avenue Dental, P.C., and Hrishikesh Gogate appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, awarding damages to the plaintiff Andrea Robles, their former employee, for injuries she suffered due to the defendants' negligent supervision of one of her male coworkers, who sexually harassed her at work over an extended period of time. The defendants challenge the judgment on the ground that the verdict on which it was rendered was returned after the court erroneously determined that it could not accept the jury’s original plaintiff’s verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages because that verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, improperly required the jury to conduct further deliberations to resolve the alleged inconsistency instead of accepting the original verdict and rendering judgment on it. The defendants claim on appeal that the court erred in concluding that the jury’s original verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, in refusing to accept and render judgment on that verdict. They argue that an award of $0 in damages was reasonable in this case because the damages claimed by Robles were largely speculative and unproved, and any damages she did prove could have been reduced by the jury under the court's instructions on their special defense of failure to mitigate damages. Finally, the defendants, claiming that the court erred in instructing the jury that it must award Robles at least some damages if it found the defendants liable for negligent supervision, ask this court to restore the original plaintiff's verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages. Robles, in opposition to the defendants' claim, argues principally that the defendants are not entitled to prevail on that claim because they failed to assert it at trial, and, thus, they failed to preserve it for appellate review. In light of the following facts and procedural history, we agree with Robles that the defendants' present claim was not preserved at trial and, thus, that it cannot be reviewed on appeal.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3145

AC40041 - Blossom's Escort, LLC v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation benefits; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendant, the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act (administrator), dismissing the plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the Employment Security Appeals Division, Board of Review (board), affirming the decision of the appeals referee, which affirmed the decision of the administrator that the plaintiff was liable for unpaid unemployment compensation contributions under the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly affirmed the decision of the board because a then recent statutory amendment, General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 31-222 (a) (5) (O), as amended by No. 08-150 of the 2008 Public Acts, exempted the claimant . . . and certain other individuals from the definition of 'employee' under the act. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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