The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Employment Law

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.")


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.")


1 2 3