OK to transfer former violent boyfriend to female employee’s department, Connecticut Supreme Court says.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has issued a ruling which will undoubtedly cause female employees concern.  In State of Connecticut v. Connecticut State Employees Association, SEIU Local 2001, 2008 WL 2220393 (Conn.), our Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of an arbitrator which resulted in the transfer of a violent former boyfriend to the department of his ex-girlfriend, over her objection.  The technical holding of the case involves the standard of review of trial court rulings affirming arbitration awards and will no doubt be used in the future for that purpose.  The factual holding, however, is the one that makes me scratch my head.  A male employee of the Department of Corrections sought a transfer to a department where his former girlfriend worked.  She objected indicating that he had been violent towards her in the past, so much so that a restraining order had been issued against him.  The State honored her request and denied his transfer.  He filed a grievance and the arbitrator ordered the State to award him the job.  The award indicated that the violence was more than ten years ago and that there had been no further instances between them.  Since I am not a labor lawyer, I can’t provide expert analysis of this opinion.  I will say that it will make claims by women in sexual harassment suits that their harassers be fired or transferred away from them more difficult.

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