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Employment Law

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4993

AC44570 - Board of Education v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Employment discrimination; whether trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's appeal and affirmed decision of defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; "The plaintiff, the Board of Education of the City of Waterbury, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its administrative appeal and affirming the decision of the named defendant, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission), which concluded that the plaintiff had discriminated against the defendant Cynthia Leonard on the basis of her physical disability by failing to interview and promote her. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the trial court improperly affirmed the commission's award of back pay because the award was not supported by substantial evidence and (2) the commission exceeded its statutory authority in awarding compensatory damages. We disagree with the plaintiff's first claim and decline to review the second claim because it is unpreserved. We, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4971

AC44061 - Middlebury v. Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No. 34 ("The plaintiff, the town of Middlebury (town), appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the town's administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant State Board of Labor Relations (labor board). The labor board found that the town violated the Municipal Employee Relations Act (act), General Statutes § 7-467 et seq., by unilaterally changing an established past practice of including extra duty pay in the calculation of pensions for members of the defendant Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No. 34 (union), the union representing the town's police officers. On appeal, the town claims that the labor board improperly (1) concluded that it had jurisdiction over the union's prohibited practice complaint and (2) applied the incorrect standard for evaluating the town's contract defense to the unilateral change complaint. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4954

SC20514 - Connecticut Judicial Branch v. Gilbert (“This case arises from allegations of sexual harassment brought by the named defendant, Germaine Gilbert (complainant), a judicial marshal who is employed by the plaintiff, the Connecticut Judicial Branch (branch). Following a contested public hearing before the defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission), the human rights referee (referee) found that the allegations were substantiated and awarded the complainant back pay with interest, emotional distress damages, attorney's fees, and injunctive relief. The branch appealed, and the trial court sustained the appeal in part. The court upheld the referee's determinations that (1) emotional distress damages and attorney's fees were available remedies under the state employment discrimination law then in effect if the complainant was able to establish a violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (2018) (Title VII), and (2) the state has waived its sovereign immunity with respect to prejudgment and postjudgment interest awards for civil rights violations, but also determined that (3) the award of emotional distress damages must be vacated because of the complainant's failure to fully comply with the branch's discovery requests in the administrative proceeding, and (4) the injunction reinstating the complainant to her former workplace must be vacated as overbroad and otherwise improper. The branch challenges the first two determinations on appeal; the commission challenges the latter two determinations on cross appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court with respect to the Title VII issue, reverse the judgment with respect to sovereign immunity, and remand the case for the referee to conduct a new hearing in damages and, if appropriate, to revisit the injunction reinstating the complainant to her former workplace.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4933

AC43153 - Rossova v. Charter Communications, LLC (“The defendant, Charter Communications, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Lana Rossova. The plaintiff brought this action alleging pregnancy discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq., after the defendant terminated her employment. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly denied its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination and that the defendant's reason for terminating her employment was a pretext for discrimination against her on the basis of her pregnancy and (2) miscalculated the plaintiff's damages. We disagree with the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4915

AC44244 - Sitar v. Syferlock Technology Corp. (“The plaintiffs, Paul Sitar and Joseph Stage, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, following a court trial, insofar as the court concluded that they were not entitled to double damages and attorney's fees and declined to award prejudgment interest on the amounts awarded to them. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court (1) erred in finding that there was no bad faith, arbitrariness, or unreasonableness on the part of the defendant, Syferlock Technology Corporation, to support an award of double damages and attorney's fees with respect to the plaintiffs' claims for failure to pay wages pursuant to General Statutes § 31-72,and (2) abused its discretion in not awarding prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a (a). We conclude that the record is inadequate for our review, and, accordingly, we decline to review the plaintiffs' claims 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=4890

AC43891 - Dept. of Public Health v. Estrada ("This appeal arises out of an alleged whistleblower retaliation action filed by the defendant Juanita Estrada in which a human rights referee (referee) from the Office of Public Hearings (office of public hearings) of the defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission) concluded that Estrada made a protected whistleblower disclosure pursuant to General Statutes § 4-61dd. Thereafter, the Superior Court sustained the appeal of the plaintiff, the Department of Public Health (department), concluding that Estrada’s disclosure to her supervisor was not a whistleblower disclosure under § 4-61dd, that Estrada failed to establish a causal connection between any alleged whistleblower disclosure and the complained of personnel actions, and that the commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate Estrada’s complaint because she had brought the same adverse personnel actions at issue through the grievance procedures in her collective bargaining agreement. On appeal, the commission claims that the court erred (1) in concluding that the commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate Estrada’s complaint, (2) in concluding that Estrada did not make a protected whistleblower disclosure pursuant to § 4-61dd, (3) in concluding that Estrada failed to establish a causal connection between the alleged disclosure and the adverse personnel actions, and (4) by failing to apply the proper standard of review in its analysis of the administrative decision. We agree with the commission that the court improperly determined that the commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate Estrada’s whistleblower retaliation complaint. We determine, however, that the court properly concluded that Estrada did not make a protected whistleblower disclosure pursuant to § 4-61dd and that the court applied the proper standard of review in making this determination. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4879

AC44230 - Hartford v. Hartford Police Union ("The plaintiff, the city of Hartford (city), appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to vacate an arbitration award finding that it violated its collective bargaining agreement (agreement) with the defendant, the Hartford Police Union (union). On appeal, the city claims that the court erred in concluding that the arbitration panel (panel) did not exceed its authority in violation of General Statutes § 52-418 (a) (4) in (1) finding that the city violated the agreement and (2) ordering retroactive pay as a remedy, in addition to the overtime pay already received for that same time period. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4863

AC43519 - O'Rourke v. Dept. of Labor (Administrative appeal; labor law; "In this administrative appeal, the plaintiff, Joan O'Rourke, appeals from the decision of the Superior Court, affirming the dismissal of her hybrid action against the defendant AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Council 4, Local 2663 (union) and the defendant Department of Children and Families (department) by the Department of Labor, State Board of Labor Relations (board), a codefendant in this case. Following the termination of the plaintiff's employment with the department, the union filed a grievance on her behalf and represented her in an arbitration proceeding. After the arbitrator determined that the department had just cause to terminate the plaintiff's employment, the plaintiff filed a complaint with the board and, ultimately, appealed the decision of the board to the Superior Court. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Superior Court improperly determined that substantial evidence supported the findings of the board and that the board reasonably concluded that the plaintiff had failed to establish that the union breached its duty of fair representation. The plaintiff specifically contends that the union breached its duty of fair representation because it failed to make two particular legal arguments to the arbitrator. We affirm the decision of the Superior Court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4857

AC44415 - Pickard v. Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services ("In this special statutory proceeding, the plaintiff, Regina Pickard, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, claiming that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff's application to vacate an arbitration award pursuant to General Statutes §§ 52-418, 52-420, and 52-422. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over her application to vacate an arbitration award. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4848

AC43861 - Roach v. Transwaste, Inc. (Wrongful termination of employment; attorney's fees; "The plaintiff appealed, claiming that the court erred by failing to apply the lodestar method in calculating the amount of the award of attorney's fees. The defendant filed a cross appeal, claiming that the court erred by (1) awarding any attorney's fees to the plaintiff, (2) failing to set aside the jury's award of damages because it was not supported by sufficient evidence, (3) rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff because there was no evidence to support the jury's conclusion that the plaintiff's employment had been terminated for filing safety complaints, and (4) providing an incorrect charge to the jury. We agree with the plaintiff and reverse the judgment of the court with respect to the calculation of attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4838

AC44266 - Shelton v. State Board of Labor Relations ("The defendant State Board of Labor Relations (board) appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining the appeal of the plaintiff, the city of Shelton, from the decision of the board in favor of the defendant Shelton Police Union, Inc. (union). On appeal, the board claims that the court improperly concluded that the board's decision was erroneous as a matter of law and predicated on factual findings that were not supported by the record. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")



Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4765

AC43986 - Hospital Media Network, LLC v. Henderson ("This matter returns to us following our decision in Hospital Media Network, LLC v. Henderson, 187 Conn. App. 40, 201 A.3d 1059 (2019) (HMN), in which this court reversed the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Hospital Media Network, LLC, and against the self-represented defendant James G. Henderson only as to the award of damages and remanded the case for a new hearing in damages.Id., 60. The defendant now appeals from the judgment rendered on remand awarding damages to the plaintiff. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) exceeded the scope of this court's remand order in HMN and (2) awarded damages that were (a) predicated on factual findings that were not supported by the record and (b) inequitable. We reverse, in part, the judgment of the trial court."


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4746

AC44281 - Grzeszczyk v. Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (Administrative appeal; whether trial court properly determined that record was sufficient to support declaratory ruling of defendant Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission denying plaintiff's application for request of refund of certain retirement contributions; "The plaintiff, Marianna Grzeszczyk, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her administrative appeal from the declaratory ruling issued by the defendant, the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (commission), denying the plaintiff's request for a refund of the retirement contributions made by her nephew, Edward Panus (Edward). The plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that Edward designated his brother, John Panus (John), as the beneficiary who was entitled to receive a refund of Edward's retirement contributions. 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=4745

AC44273 - Lockhart v. Elite (Unpaid wages claim; attorney's fees; "The plaintiff subsequently filed an application for an award of attorney's fees, claiming that he had incurred attorney's fees in the amount of $68,831.24. The court granted the plaintiff's application for an award of attorney's fees, concluding that 'the plaintiff should be made whole by requiring the defendant[s] to pay for his attorney's fees, which the court finds reasonable, but not punitive.' The defendants then brought the present appeal from the trial court's judgment in favor of the plaintiff and the award of attorney's fees. On appeal, the defendants originally claimed that the court erred by (1) finding that the plaintiff was entitled to pursue an action under § 31-72, (2) concluding that the defendants produced insufficient evidence to offset the amount of the plaintiff's commission, (3) concluding that the plaintiff met the burden of 'the so-called "ABC Test,"' and (4) awarding excessive and unreasonable attorney's fees to the plaintiff. At oral argument before this court, the defendants withdrew all of their claims except for their claim of excessive attorney's fees. We conclude that the amount of attorney's fees awarded to the plaintiff did not constitute an abuse of discretion 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=4739

AC43739 - United Public Service Employees Union, Cops Local 062 v. Hamden ("The defendant town of Hamden appeals from the decision of the trial court granting the application for a temporary injunction filed by the plaintiff, United Public Service Employees Union, Cops Local 062. Specifically, the defendant was enjoined from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing concerning Devin Eaton, a police officer in its employ, until a pending criminal prosecution of Eaton is concluded. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court utilized the incorrect legal standard in determining whether to grant the plaintiff’s application for a temporary injunction. We agree,and, accordingly, we reverse the decision of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4723

AC43420 - Hartford v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Employment discrimination; whether trial court properly upheld decision of defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that employee had proven intentional discrimination based on ancestry by plaintiff employer; "The plaintiff, City of Hartford Police Department (city), appeals from the judgment of the trial court affirming a decision of the named defendant, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission), which concluded that the city had discriminated against the defendant Khoa Phan on the basis of his Asian and Vietnamese ancestry by terminating Phan's employment as a probationary police officer. The primary issue on appeal is whether the trial court improperly concluded that substantial evidence supported the commission's determination that the city intentionally had discriminated against Phan. We conclude that the substantial evidence in the record does not support a determination of intentional discrimination by the city 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=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.")