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Employment Law

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4633

AC43328 - Brass City Local, CT Alliance of City Police v. Waterbury ("This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, the Brass City Local, Connecticut Alliance of City Police, in which a three member panel of the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration (panel) rendered an arbitration award in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the arbitration award, which was granted by the trial court. The defendant city of Waterbury appeals from the judgment of the trial court vacating the arbitration award. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff’s motion to vacate the arbitration award. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4569

SC20502 - Maghfour v. Waterbury ("The defendant, the city of Waterbury (city), appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Rochdi Maghfour. On appeal, the city contends that the trial court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment because it erroneously concluded that General Statutes § 7-464, as amended by § 1 of No. 17-165 of the 2017 Public Acts (P.A. 17-165), did not authorize the city's lien in this case. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4553

AC43594 - Dunn v. Northeast Helicopters Flight Services, L.L.C. (Wrongful termination of employment; "In this civil action, the plaintiff, Tim Dunn, alleges wrongful termination of employment in violation of public policy. See Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., 179 Conn. 471, 474–77, 427 A.2d 385 (1980). The issue before us is whether the trial court improperly concluded that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue of material fact pertaining to whether, by terminating his at-will employment in the manner alleged, the defendant, his former employer, Northeast Helicopters Flight Services, L.L.C., violated General Statutes § 31-73 (b) and the public policy underlying that statute, which prohibits employers from coercing an employee to refund wages or related sums of money to the employer, or from withholding wages due and owing to an employee, as a condition either to secure or to continue employment. The plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant. Because we agree that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4551

SC20533 - Gallagher v. Fairfield ("This case requires that we construe a collective bargaining agreement between the named defendant, the town of Fairfield, and its police union. The agreement took effect in 1985, at a time when federal law did not permit municipal employees to participate in the Medicare system. The agreement provides that union members who retired early due to disability, such as the plaintiff, James G. Gallagher, as well as their eligible dependents, would be entitled to town paid private health insurance. The question presented is whether, following an intervening change in federal law that permits the plaintiff and other similarly situated retirees to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of sixty-five, the town may terminate their private health insurance, provide them with comparable town paid Medicare supplemental insurance, and require that they bear the costs of their Medicare premiums. The defendants have appealed, and the plaintiff has cross appealed, from the judgment of the trial court, which concluded that the town may require the plaintiff and his wife to enroll in Medicare but, in addition to paying for their Medicare supplemental insurance and any uncovered medical expenses, must also reimburse the costs of their Medicare Part B premiums. We agree with the former conclusion but hold that the town is not required to reimburse the Gallaghers for their Medicare premium costs. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4530

AC43856 - Monts v. Board of Education ("The plaintiff, Helen Monts, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, the Board of Education of the City of Hartford. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by (1) failing to charge the jury on her claim of interference with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (2012), (2) admitting inadmissible hearsay into evidence, and (3) precluding evidence showing that she was disabled within the meaning of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4515

AC43618 - Fernandez v. Mac Motors, Inc. (Claim of discrimination and a hostile work environment on the basis of her gender. “On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety because (1) her gender discrimination claim was not barred by the doctrine of res judicata, and (2) she submitted sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to her hostile work environment claim. We affirm the judgment of the court”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4457

AC44118 - Ortiz v. Torres-Rodriguez ("The self-represented plaintiff, Pablo Ortiz, Jr., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on all three counts of his operative complaint. 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=4423

AC43786 - Lemma v. York & Chapel, Corp. ("The defendant, York & Chapel, Corp., appeals from the judgment of the trial court confirming an arbitration award in favor of the plaintiff, Dominic Lemma. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case and (2) erred in confirming the arbitration award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4403

AC42660 - Zweig v. Marvelwood School (Wrongful discharge; "The plaintiff, Aaron M. Zweig, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, The Marvelwood School, in this action for wrongful discharge. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether he set forth a valid wrongful discharge claim. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43294 - Gibilisco v. Tilcon (Wrongful termination; motion for summary judgment; "This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, Salvatore Gibilisco, in which he asserts that his former employer, the defendant, Tilcon Connecticut, Inc., wrongfully terminated his employment in violation of General Statutes § 31-290a because he had filed for workers' compensation benefits. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant on the grounds that he had failed as a matter of law to raise a genuine issue of material fact with respect to his initial and ultimate burden of proving a discriminatory discharge under the McDonnell Douglas burden shifting framework. We conclude that genuine issues of material fact exist that preclude the granting of summary judgment as a matter of law, and, accordingly, we 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=4390

AC43702 - Luth v. OEM Controls, Inc. ("In this action, brought pursuant to the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq., the plaintiff, Diane Luth, appeals from the summary judgment, rendered by the trial court, in favor of her former employer, the defendant, OEM Controls, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in rendering summary judgment on her two count complaint sounding in gender discrimination and retaliatory discharge. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4341

SC20362 - New Haven v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 3144 ("The plaintiff, the city of New Haven (city), appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the application of the defendant, AFSCME, Council 4, Local 3144 (union), to confirm an arbitration award reinstating the grievant, Nichole Jefferson, a member of the union, to her employment as executive director of the city's Commission on Equal Opportunities (commission) and denying the city's corresponding application to vacate the award on public policy grounds. On appeal, the city claims that the trial court incorrectly determined that the award did not violate public policy. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=4335

AC43272 - Sieranski v. TJC Esq, A Professional Services Corp. (The plaintiff, Helen Sieranski, brought a three count complaint against her former employer, the defendant, TJC Esq, A Professional Services Corporation, seeking damages for wrongful termination, pregnancy discrimination, and gender discrimination (original complaint). The court granted the defendant's motion to strike the first count of the original complaint, in which the plaintiff alleged common-law wrongful termination in violation of the public policy outlined in General Statutes §§ 3-94h and 53a-157b. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a revised complaint alleging, in one count, pregnancy discrimination. After the court rendered summary judgment as to that count, the plaintiff brought the present appeal in which she challenges the court's judgment striking count one of her original complaint. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.)


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4283

AC42555 - Meyers v. Middlefield (Administrative appeal; employment termination pursuant to statute (§ 20-260); "The plaintiff, Robert Meyers, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the unanimous decision of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Middlefield (board) to terminate his employment as the statutory building official for the defendant, the town of Middlefield (town). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the decision to terminate his employment was supported by substantial evidence in the record and (2) upheld the decision of the board to terminate the plaintiff's employment because the decision violated public policy. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC42845 - Vogue v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation; whether trial court properly dismissed appeal from decision of Employment Security Board of Review; "The plaintiff, Vogue, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendant, the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act, dismissing the plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the Board of Review of the Employment Security Appeals Division (board). The board had affirmed the decision of an appeals referee of the Employment Security Appeals Division (appeals division), who had affirmed the decision made by the defendant, following an audit of the plaintiff, that the plaintiff was liable for unpaid unemployment compensation contributions under the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq., with respect to one of its employees. The primary issue in this appeal is whether the court improperly interpreted and applied part B of the so-called "ABC test" of the act, which governs whether an employment relationship exists for purposes of the act. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4243

SC20337 - Brass City Local, CACP v. Waterbury ("The plaintiff, Brass City Local, CACP (union), a collective bargaining unit representing employees of the Waterbury Police Department, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss of the defendant, the city of Waterbury (city), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The union filed this action, seeking to have the trial court confirm an interest arbitration award issued in accordance with the provisions of General Statutes § 7-473c of the Municipal Employees Relations Act (MERA), General Statutes § 7-467 et seq. The union contends that the trial court incorrectly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to confirm the award under General Statutes § 52-417. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4224

AC42986 - Commissioner of Labor v. Walnut Tire Shop, LLC (Wage collection statute (§ 31-72); motion for default; motion to open judgment of default; "The defendants, Walnut Tire Shop, LLC (company), and Ramon Balbuena, appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion to open a default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the Commissioner of Labor. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court abused its discretion in denying that motion because they lacked actual notice of the plaintiff's action. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4177

SC20274 - Rodriguez v. Kaiaffa, LLC ("This public interest appeal requires us to consider the extent to which a trial court should consider the merits of a party's legal theory before certifying a class action pursuant to Practice Book §§ 9-7 and 9-8. The defendants, Kaiaffa, LLC, and George Chatzopoulos, appeal from the order of the trial court certifying a class action of servers employed by Chip's Family Restaurant (Chip's). The plaintiff, Jacqueline Rodriguez, alleged in her class action complaint that the defendants had violated Connecticut wage laws; see General Statutes § 31-58 et seq.; and regulations by improperly deducting a tip credit from her earnings and paying her and other class members below the minimum wage for the performance of 'nonservice' tasks in connection with their duties as servers. The defendants claim that, in certifying the class, the trial court improperly assumed the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's claim when it failed to determine if she relied on an incorrect interpretation of one of the regulations implementing Connecticut wage laws. See Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 31-62-E4. The defendants also contend, inter alia, that the trial court abused its discretion in concluding that the plaintiff met the various class certification requirements of Practice Book §§ 9-7 and 9-8. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the trial court's order granting class certification.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4091

AC41976 - Kovachich v. Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Employment discrimination; retaliation; mootness; "The defendant, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a court trial in favor of the plaintiff, Virlee Kovachich. The plaintiff filed a cross appeal. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) admitted into evidence settlement communications between the parties, (2) found that the defendant violated the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-60 et seq., by providing insufficient accommodations to the plaintiff and failing to engage in the interactive process required under the act, (3) precluded the defendant from cross-examining the plaintiff with deposition testimony that was changed through an errata sheet, and (4) determined that hearsay statements by any state employee, including statements from the plaintiff's union representatives, were admissible against the defendant as admissions by a party opponent. On cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly denied both her posttrial request to file a second amended complaint to conform to the proof at trial and motion to open the judgment. We agree with the defendant's first, third, and fourth claims and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4077

AC42511 - Norwalk Medical Group, P.C. v. Yee (Arbitration; application to vacate arbitration award; application to confirm arbitration award; "Our courts "undertake judicial review of arbitration awards in a manner designed to minimize interference with an efficient and economical system of alternative dispute resolution. . . . Such a limited scope of judicial review is warranted given the fact that the parties voluntarily bargained for the decision of the arbitrator and, as such, the parties are presumed to have assumed the risk of and waived objection to that decision." (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Industrial Risk Insurers v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co., 258 Conn. 101, 110, 779 A.2d 737 (2001). Led by these overarching principles, we consider the present appeal challenging the propriety of an arbitration award rendered in favor of the defendant, Arthur Yee. The plaintiffs, The Norwalk Medical Group, P.C. (medical group), and thirteen individual physicians (physicians) who formerly were members of the medical group, appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their application to vacate an arbitration award and the judgment of the trial court granting the application to confirm the arbitration award filed by the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly confirmed the award because it was not mutual, final and definite due to the failure of the arbitrator to (1) allocate arbitration costs, expenses and compensation and (2) set forth a reasoned award with respect to the issue of attorney's fees. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


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.")


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