According to a report from The Westerly Sun, the Town of Stonington, Connecticut has agreed to pay $20,000 to Louis DiCesare, its former highway supervisor, to resolve a wrongful termination lawsuit. Mr. DiCesare will drop his claim as part of the agreement. In this blog post, our Hartford wrongful termination lawyers provide an overview of the settlement and the wrongful termination laws in Connecticut in general.
Employee Asserted Deprivation of Rights, Wrongful Termination
In October of 2015, Louis DiCesare filed a wrongful termination claim against his former employer, the Town of Stonington. Located in the southern part of New London County, Stonington has a population of 18,545 and is known for being the setting of several big-budget Hollywood productions, including Mystic Pizza and Hope Springs. The wrongful termination claim at issue in this case went to arbitration in 2019, but no final resolution was reached.
For its part, the Town of Stonington argued that it let go of Mr. DiCesare because of his failure to fulfill certain key job responsibilities, including managing day-to-day operations. For his part, Mr. Dicesare countered that the employer used pretextual reasoning in order to justify his termination. He argued that the Town deprived him of his rights, including violating him of his right to seek union representation.
A Confidential Settlement of the Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
The Westerly Sun reports that the specific terms of the wrongful discharge settlement are largely confidential. However, some details have been released to the public. The employee will receive $20,000 in financial compensation. In exchange, he has agreed to drop his wrongful termination lawsuit and waive all other potential claims against his former employer.
Connecticut is an At-Will Employment State—But You Cannot Be Fired for an Illegal Reason
Similar to virtually every jurisdiction in the United States, Connecticut operates under an at-will employment standard. In effect, this means that an employer can terminate an employee for virtually any reason. In fact, a business or organization in Connecticut can fire a worker for no reason at all. Employers do not need to prove “good cause” to defend a wrongful termination claim.
That being said, employers are strictly forbidden from terminating employees for illegal reasons. An employer cannot fire a worker on discriminatory grounds (race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, etc). Similarly, an employer cannot fire a worker simply because they engaged in a protected activity, such as filing a sexual harassment complaint or reporting a wage and hour violation.
Contact Our Connecticut Wrongful Termination Lawyers for a Confidential Consultation
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut wrongful termination attorneys are aggressive, effective advocates for worker rights. If you were unlawfully discharged, we are available to help. Give us a call now or connect with us online for a confidential, no commitment consultation. From our offices in Hartford and New Haven, we handle wrongful termination claims throughout the region, including in Middletown, Enfield, Waterbury, Bristol, Torrington, and New Britain.