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Employment Law

Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5801

AC46091 - Bartolotta v. Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. (“The plaintiff, Alyssa Bartolotta, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc., in this employment discrimination action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the defendant was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all four counts of her complaint. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC46927 - Torrington v. Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Local 442 (“This appeal presents a matter of first impression: whether a judgment of the Superior Court vacating an arbitration award and remanding the matter for a new arbitration hearing is a final judgment for purposes of an appeal pursuant to applicable statutes governing arbitration proceedings and municipal collective bargaining. We conclude that the defendants, Gerald Peters (Peters) and Council 4, AFSCME, AFLCIO, Local 442 (union), have appealed from a final judgment in this case and, accordingly, deny the motion to dismiss the appeal filed by the plaintiff, the city of Torrington (city).”)


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5764

SC20803 - Stiegler v. Meriden ("The plaintiffs are three firefighters who retired during ongoing contract negotiations between their municipal employer and their union regarding a wage reopener to their collective bargaining agreement. After the effective dates of their retirements, an arbitration panel issued an interest arbitration award pursuant to the provisions of General Statutes § 7-473c of the Municipal Employee Relations Act, General Statutes § 7-460 et seq., granting all firefighters in that municipality a retroactive wage increase. The plaintiffs filed a breach of contract action, alleging, among other things, that they were entitled to a recalculation of their pension benefits to reflect the retroactive wage increase. The trial court agreed with the plaintiffs and rendered judgment in their favor on the breach of contract claims. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and, on the merits, that the trial court had incorrectly concluded that the plaintiffs were entitled to a recalculation of their pension benefits. We conclude that the trial court properly exercised jurisdiction but erroneously determined that the plaintiffs are entitled to receive a retroactive increase in their pension benefits and, therefore, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5745

AC45969 - Twerdahl v. Wilton Public Schools (“The plaintiff, Robin Twerdahl, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following the court’s decision striking her complaint against the defendant, Wilton Public Schools, in which she claimed that she was constructively discharged from her employment with the defendant. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting the motion to strike filed by the defendant on the grounds that the filing of her complaint alleging age discrimination to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) was untimely and she failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted. We agree that the plaintiff’s complaint to the CHRO was untimely and, accordingly, 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=5737

AC46206 - Roman v. A&S Innersprings USA, LLC (“In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Jessica Roman, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, A&S Innersprings USA, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that (1) no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether certain claims of pregnancy discrimination were time barred, as they occurred outside the 180 day limitation period contained in General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 46a-82 (f), (2) the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination on her claim that the defendant failed to rehire her on or after December 2, 2018, and (3) the continuing course of conduct doctrine did not toll the statute of limitations contained in § 46a-82 (f) with respect to any untimely claims. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=5725

AC45548 - Forestier v. Bridgeport (“This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiffs, Jonathan Forestier and Stephen Vitka, against the defendant city of Bridgeport (city) and the defendant Board of Education of the City of Bridgeport (board) alleging that the plaintiffs wrongfully had been laid off from their employment as special police officers with the board for having exercised their rights to workers’ compensation benefits, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 31-290a (a). The trial court granted motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants and rendered judgment in their favor, from which the plaintiffs have appealed. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly granted the defendants’ motions for summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether (1) the plaintiffs established a prima facie case of discrimination, and (2) the defendants’ proffered nondiscriminatory reason for the elimination of the plaintiffs’ positions and their layoffs was a pretext for discrimination. 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=5719

AC45802 - Lassen v. Hartford (“The plaintiff, Alfred Lassen, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the city of Hartford, on his two count complaint, alleging disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of General Statutes § 46a-60 of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq., in connection with the defendant’s failure to rehire him as a police officer. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant because it improperly concluded that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether (1) the plaintiff had failed to make out a prima facie case of disability discrimination and retaliation, and (2) the defendant’s proffered legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for not rehiring1 him was pretextual. For the reasons that follow, we disagree and, accordingly, 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=5698

AC45866 - Femia v. Meriden (“In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, John Femia, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of his employer, the defendant, the city of Meriden. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to his allegation that he was not selected for a promotion in 2019 within the Meriden Police Department (department) on the basis of his age in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. 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=5664

AC45220 - Schofield v. Rafley, Inc. (“This action sounding in breach of contract and employment discrimination follows a prior action commenced in 2017 between the same parties that involved similar claims (2017 action). See Schofield v. Rafley, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No. CV-17-6078256-S (May 14, 2020). The substitute plaintiff, Andrea Sadler, executor of the estate of Lydia Schofield (decedent), now appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Rafley, Inc. (Rafley), Joseph Mason, and Karen Mason. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed the decedent’s employment discrimination count as untimely and (2) granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of Rafley on the breach of contract count. 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=5647

AC45498 - International Assn. of EMTs & Paramedics, Local R1-701 v. Bristol Hospital EMS, LLC (“The defendant, Bristol Hospital EMS, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court granting the motion of the plaintiff, International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, Local R1-701, to enforce a prior judgment of the court confirming the arbitration award to reinstate an employee of the defendant. The defendant claims the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction to require that medical authorization be given to the employee and (2) improperly awarded back pay and attorney’s fees when those issues were not properly before it. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.”)


Workers’ Compensation Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5634

AC45341 - Dusto v. Rogers Corp. (“The plaintiff, Lana Kelly, acting in her capacity as executor of the estates of Harold Dusto and his wife, Anita Dusto,1 appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of Harold Dusto’s employer, Rogers Corporation (Rogers), and the judgment of dismissal rendered in favor of Special Electric Company, Inc. (Special Electric), which sold asbestos materials to Rogers. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) rendered summary judgment in favor of Rogers on the ground that her claims against Rogers were barred by the exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., and (2) dismissed her claims against Special Electric for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We agree with the plaintiff that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether her claims against Rogers satisfied the substantial certainty exception to the exclusivity provision of the act, and we therefore reverse the summary judgment rendered in favor of Rogers. We affirm the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against Special Electric.”)

  • AC45341 - Dusto v. Rogers Corp. — Concurrence & Dissent


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5633

SC20733 - Middlebury v. Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No 34. (“In this certified appeal, the plaintiff, the town of Middlebury (town), challenges the trial court’s dismissal of the town’s administrative appeal from the decision of the labor board concluding that the town violated MERA by unilaterally changing the town’s past practice of including extra duty pay in the calculation of pension benefits for members of the named defendant, Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No. 34 (union). The town claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the labor board did not act unreasonably, illegally, arbitrarily, or in abuse of its discretion when it declined to apply the ‘‘contract coverage’’ standard, as adopted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in MV Transportation, Inc., Case No. 28-CA173726, 368 N.L.R.B. No. 66, slip op., pp. 1–2, 9–11 (September 10, 2019), and instead applied the clear and unmistakable waiver standard to the union’s claim that the town’s unilateral change to its pension plan constituted a refusal to bargain collectively in good faith in violation of MERA. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court..”)


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5628

SC20677 - Ahmed v. Oak Management Corp. (“This appeal arises under highly unusual, perhaps unprecedented, circumstances, involving the application of the ‘fugitive disentitlement doctrine’ in an arbitral proceeding but implicates settled law on the limits of judicial review of arbitral awards. The plaintiff, Iftikar Ahmed, appeals from the trial court’s judgment denying his application to vacate an arbitration award rendered in favor of the defendant, Oak Management Corporation (Oak), and granting Oak’s motion to confirm the award. Ahmed contends that the trial court erroneously declined to vacate the award because the arbitrator had deprived him of the full and fair hearing to which he was entitled, in violation of governing law, public policy, and the parties’ arbitration agreement. Specifically, Ahmed contends that the arbitrator improperly applied the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to prevent him from asserting counterclaims or defenses, contesting Oak’s allegations, and viewing the evidence against him. After considering the grounds he has raised for vacating the award, we conclude that, notwithstanding the gravity of the arbitrator’s rulings, Ahmed has not satisfied any of the legal standards required for reversal of the judgment. We therefore affirm the trial court’s judgment.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5600

AC45395 - Cooling v. Torrington (“The plaintiff, Jason Cooling, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the city of Torrington, on the plaintiff’s complaint alleging violations of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that the defendant discriminated against him on the basis of disability by, inter alia, failing to engage in a good faith interactive process to provide him with a reasonable accommodation and by subjecting him to a hostile work environment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that he failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact that the defendant (1) had not engaged in the requisite good faith interactive process to discover a reasonable accommodation for his disability and (2) had subjected him to a hostile work environment. We disagree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5595

AC44975 - CCI Computerworks, LLC v. Evernet Consulting, LLC (“The defendant, Evernet Consulting, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, CCI Computerworks, LLC, on the defendant’s counterclaim asserting claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and indemnification. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the agreement executed by the parties attributed liability to the defendant, rather than to the plaintiff, for unemployment taxes, plus interest and penalties, assessed on the defendant by the Department of Labor (department), or (2) in the alternative, the plaintiff was not unjustly enriched by the defendant’s payment of the unemployment taxes, interest, and penalties. We conclude that the court properly rendered judgment in the plaintiff’s favor on the defendant’s counterclaim. In addition, the plaintiff cross appeals from the judgment of the court rendered in its favor on count one of its second amended complaint asserting breach of contract. On cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) denied its motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of a settlement offer, (2) admitted the settlement evidence in full into the record, (3) relied on the settlement evidence to conclude that it had failed to mitigate its damages, and (4) failed to adjudicate its claim that the defendant breached the parties’ agreement by crediting certain costs against the payments that the defendant owed pursuant to the agreement. We agree with the plaintiff’s claims of error regarding the settlement evidence, but we disagree with the plaintiff’s contention that the court overlooked one of its claims. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court rendered on the plaintiff’s second amended complaint, and we affirm the judgment in all other respects.”)


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5550

SC20718 - Roach v. Transwaste, Inc. (“The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the jury was presented with sufficient evidence to award the plaintiff, William L. Roach, lost wages in this wrongful termination action. The defendant, Transwaste, Inc., claims that the Appellate Court improperly upheld the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion for remittitur. We disagree with the defendant and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5541

AC45471 - Marrero v. Hoffman of Simsbury, Inc. (“In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Janetta Marrero, claims on appeal that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Hoffman of Simsbury, Inc., her former employer, on her complaint sounding in pregnancy discrimination and gender discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”

“The undisputed evidence shows that the plaintiff received multiple warnings regarding her attitude, conduct, and insubordination and, in April, 2018, received notice that, upon another incident of insubordination, her employment could be terminated. The plaintiff does not dispute that, on October 18, 2018, she criticized Berube’s management of his department and refused to leave his office for more than one hour. Consistent with the April, 2018 warning, the defendant terminated the plaintiff’s employment. In sum, we agree with the trial court that ‘there is a dearth of evidence, other than the plaintiff’s speculation, that her pregnancy had anything to do with her termination.’ Because the defendant presented uncontroverted evidence of a nondiscriminatory reason for its employment termination decision and the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact that that reason was pretextual, the court properly granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

The judgment is affirmed.”


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5524

SC20669, SC20674 - City of Hartford Police Department v. CHRO et al. (Administrative Appeal; Discrimination; Whether Human Rights Referee's Finding of Intentional Discrimination Was Supported by Substantial Evidence).

"On appeal, the defendants claim that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that there was not substantial evidence in the record to support the referee’s determination of intentional discrimination because Phan had failed to establish either an inference of discrimination in his prima facie case or, alternatively, that the plaintiff’s proffered reasons for terminating Phan’s employment were pretextual."


Employment Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5493

AC44659 - Belgada v. Hy's Livery Service, Inc. (“The plaintiffs, a group of chauffeurs who brought this class action1 complaint seeking unpaid wages, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Hy’s Livery Service, Inc. (Hy’s); Robert L. Levine, Hy’s president; and Mathew Levine, Hy’s vice president. On appeal, the plaintiffs Mehdi Belgada, Hormoz Akhundzadeh and Daniel Dziekan, as representatives of the class, set forth three arguments in support of their claim that the court improperly resolved the legal issue, namely, whether the plaintiffs’ meal breaks were not compensable time and, consequently, improperly rendered summary judgment for the defendants. We are not persuaded 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=5476

AC44554 - Nettleton v. C & L Diners, LLC (“Pursuant to Connecticut wage laws, an employer may claim a credit for gratuities received by service employees in the restaurant industry as a percentage of the minimum fair wage (tip credit) it would otherwise be required to pay, and the Labor Commissioner (commissioner), acting through the Department of Labor (department), is tasked with adopting regulations regarding the tip credit. See General Statutes § 31-60 (b); see also Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 31-62-E1 et seq. (March 8, 2015). The defendant, C & L Diners, LLC, appeals, and the plaintiff, Valerie Nettleton, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff on her claims for violations of the minimum wage regulations. The court rendered summary judgment for the plaintiff on her complaint alleging that the defendant violated §§ 31-62-E3 and 31-62-E4 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and for the defendant on its good faith defense to the plaintiff’s claim for penalty damages pursuant to General Statutes (Supp. 2016) § 31-68 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) § 31-68 (a) provides a private cause of action for a recordkeeping violation under § 31-62-E3 of the regulations and (2) the ‘side work’ performed by the plaintiff while working as a server constituted ‘nonservice’ work under § 31-62-E4 of the regulations. In her cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the defendant established its good faith defense. We agree with the defendant’s first claim and the plaintiff’s claim and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the matter for further proceedings.”)


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5424

AC45011 - O'Reggio v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Employment discrimination; claim that trial court erred in affirming administrative decision of defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; "In the present case, the Superior Court concluded that the department was not liable because the employee who created the hostile work environment, Diane Krevolin, was not the plaintiff's "supervisor" pursuant to the definition adopted by the United States Supreme Court for Title VII purposes in Vance v. Ball State University, supra, 570 U.S. 424; that is, someone "empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the [plaintiff] . . . ." Id. The court determined that because Krevolin was not a supervisor, there was consequently "no merit to the plaintiff's argument that [the commission] should have imputed liability to [the department] on the basis of a supervisor theory of liability," and because the plaintiff did not challenge the decision on any other ground, it affirmed the decision of the commission in favor of the department.

On appeal to this court, the plaintiff asks us to conclude, contrary to the determination of the Superior Court, that the Vance definition of a "supervisor" for Title VII purposes does not apply to hostile work environment claims that are brought under CFEPA. She asks us, instead, to adopt a broader definition of the term for CFEPA purposes that would include employees like Krevolin who cannot "take tangible employment actions" but nonetheless control the day-to-day conditions of their subordinate's work. We conclude that the Superior Court properly determined that the Vance definition applies to claims brought under CFEPA, and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court")