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Employment Law

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5220

AC44321 - Horrocks v. Keepers, Inc. (“This appeal stems from a dispute between the plaintiffs, Crystal Horrocks, Yaritza Reyes, Dina Danielle Caviello, Jacqueline Green, Sugeily Ortiz and Zuleyma Bella Lopez, and the defendants, Keepers, Inc., and Joseph Regensburger, as to the proper characterization of the plaintiffs as independent contractors, instead of employees, for services rendered as exotic dancers at a gentlemen’s club owned and operated by the defendants. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion to vacate, and granting the plaintiffs’ application to confirm, arbitration awards finding that the plaintiffs were employees, not independent contractors, and awarding them damages. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5191

AC44322 - Paniccia v. Success Village Apartments, Inc. ("In this breach of contract action, the named defendant, Success Village Apartments, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a second court trial, in favor of the plaintiff, David Paniccia, the defendant’s former employee. In 2018, following the first court trial of this matter, the court, Arnold, J., rendered judgment for the defendant on the plaintiff’s claims for breach of an employment contract, violations of General Statutes §§ 31-71b and 31-72,2 and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Thereafter, however, Judge Arnold granted the plaintiff’s motion to open and vacate the judgment because his judgment was rendered untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 51-183b, which requires that a trial court render a decision within 120 days after the completion of a civil trial.3 After conducting a second court trial in 2019, the court, Jacobs, J., rendered judgment for the plaintiff and awarded him $172,969.90 in damages, which included $11,672.46 in prejudgment interest on back wages.

On appeal, the defendant claims that Judge Arnold improperly granted the plaintiff's motion to open and vacate the 2018 judgment for the defendant. In the alternative, the defendant claims that Judge Jacobs improperly (1) relied on parol evidence rather than the employment contract in finding that the contract was valid and enforceable and (2) awarded the plaintiff prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Employment Law Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5179

AC44824 - Fiveash v. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

AC44824 - Fiveash v. Delong ("In these employment discrimination actions, the plaintiff, Sharon Fiveash, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, Inc. (CIRMA), Faith Brooks, Joseph DeLong, and Ronald W. Thomas. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding the plaintiff's claims of gender discrimination and retaliation. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Employment Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5170

SC20518 - Kovachich v. Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services (“We granted the plaintiff's petition for certification to appeal to determine whether (1) the written communications improperly were admitted into evidence under § 4-8 of the Connecticut Code of Evidence, (2) the defendant suffered substantial prejudice as a result, and (3) any of the other evidentiary errors identified by the Appellate Court were harmful. See Kovachich v. Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services, 335 Conn. 958, 958–59, 239 A.3d 320 (2020). We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the written communications into evidence and that the other evidentiary errors identified by the Appellate Court were harmless. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)

  • SC20518 Dissent - Kovachich v. Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5057

AC43975 - Wallace v. Caring Solutions, LLC (“The plaintiff, Tyisha S. Wallace, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after a trial to the court in favor of the defendant, Caring Solutions, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred when it rendered judgment for the defendant because the court (1) applied the wrong causation standard to the plaintiff’s discrimination claim and (2) failed to find that certain statements in the defendant’s pretrial brief were binding judicial admissions and ignored other statements made by the defendant that conflicted with its purported, nondiscriminatory reason for not hiring the plaintiff. 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=5036

AC43877 - Oral Care Dental Group II, LLC v. Pallet (Administrative appeal; employment based sexual harassment and discrimination; "The defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission) appeals from the judgment of the trial court vacating the human rights referee's damages award for garden-variety emotional distress to the defendant Shanteema Pallet, in her sexual harassment complaint against the plaintiff, Oral Care Dental Group II, LLC. On appeal, the commission claims that the court erred when it vacated the damages award after concluding that the plaintiff was prejudiced by Pallet's failure to produce certain medical records. We agree with the commission and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to the trial court with direction to deny the plaintiff's administrative appeal.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5024

AC44483 - Meriden v. AFSCME, Local 1016 (“The self-represented defendant, Patrick Gaynor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his application to vacate an arbitration award rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the city of Meriden (city), in which a three member arbitration panel determined that the city had just cause to terminate his employment. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred (1) in applying the standard for vacating an arbitration award because the award allegedly was procured by corruption, fraud or undue means, (2) in determining that the arbitration procedure was fair and impartial and (3) by overlooking the panel's reliance on an investigation that was not fair and impartial. We affirm the judgment of the court.”)


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."