Fernandez v. Mac Motors, Inc.

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** GLORIA FERNANDEZ v. MAC MOTORS, INC. (AC 43618) Bright, C. J., and Alvord and Devlin, Js. Syllabus The plaintiff sought to recover damages from the defendant, her former employer, for alleged discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment on the basis of her gender in violation of the applicable provision (§ 46a-60) of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act. The plaintiff, who had been a finance manager at the defendant’s car dealership, claimed that she had been paid less than male employees who performed the same job and that she had been subjected to mistreat- ment by four male managers, which included sporadic incidents of yelling. She further alleged that male employees made remarks in the workplace that were crude and demeaning to women. The plaintiff initially brought an action in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, in which she alleged that the defendant had violated the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C. § 206 et seq.). While the federal action was pending, the plaintiff filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, in which she alleged violations of § 46a-60. The commission thereafter issued to the plaintiff a release of jurisdiction letter that authorized her to bring this action in the Superior Court. During the pendency of that action, the District Court rendered summary judgment for the defendant. The trial court then granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff’s gender discrimination claim was barred by the doctrine of res judicata and that the evidence she presented was insufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to her hostile work environment claim. On the plaintiff’s appeal to this court, held: 1. The trial court correctly determined that res judicata barred the plaintiff’s gender discrimination claim: contrary to the plaintiff’s assertion that the statute of …

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