State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-290a

Discharge or discrimination prohibited.

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THESE ANNOTATIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

Full texts of opinions, statutes and court decisions should be consulted and all citations and references fully researched by the reader.

The Annotations to Compensation Review Board Opinions are presented “as is” and the Commission makes no warranties as to the suitability of this information for any given purpose.
Please note also that Annotations change periodically due to several factors including, but not limited to, Appellate and Supreme Court decisions issued in workers’ compensation cases.

Cordero v. State/Judicial Branch, 5229 CRB-3-07-5 (May 23, 2007).

Board lacks jurisdiction over appeals from § 31-290a Findings. Party may appeal decision directly with Appellate Court.

Link v. Town of Easton, 5130 CRB-4-06-9 (October 12, 2006).

See, Link, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Soto v. Michael’s Chrysler Plymouth, 4830 CRB-2-04-7 (July 21, 2005).

CRB had jurisdiction to hear appeal regarding applicability of § 31-294c Motion to Preclude procedure to § 31-290a cases, but ultimately ruled that the procedure did not apply to wrongful termination complaints.

Mele v. City of Hartford, rev’d, 270 Conn. 751 (2004).

Trial commissioner’s Sec. 31-290a Finding reversed. Supreme Court held there was insufficient evidence to support discrimination under Sec. 31-290a. There was no evidence presented by the claimant that she was exercising any rights afforded to her under the Workers’ Compensation Act. In addition, there was insufficient evidence to prove the employer intended to discriminate against the claimant.

Bazon v. ABF Freight Systems, Inc., 4736 CRB-4-03-9 (November 3, 2003).

Finding pursuant to § 31-290a awarded lost wages, reimbursement of medical and insurance costs, attorney’s fees and costs. Earlier finding ordered reinstatement of employment. Respondents’ appeal dismissed as jurisdiction over appeal lies with the Appellate Court.

Burke v. Systematic Automation, Inc., aff’d, 80 Conn. App. 901 (2003)(per curiam).

Appellate Court affirmed trial commissioner’s finding claimant was discharged as a result of filing a workers’ compensation claim in violation of § 31-290a.

Martin v. Town of Westport, aff’d, 80 Conn. App. 901 (2003)(per curiam).

Appellate Court affirmed trial commissioner’s finding claimant failed to meet his burden of proof in regard to his claim for discrimination pursuant to § 31-290a.

Cable v. Bic Corp., aff’d, 79 Conn. App. 178 (2003), aff’d, 270 Conn. 433 (2004).

Reinstatement of employment and permanent partial disability benefits awarded where trial commissioner acting for the Fourth District found claimant’s termination from employment violated § 31-290a, despite employer’s claimed nondiscriminatory reason for laying off the claimant. Appellate Court affirmed factual findings of the trial commissioner. Appellate Court found claimant satisfied both her burden of proof and her burden of persuasion sufficient to support the findings and conclusions of the trial commissioner. Appellate Court found, although the trial commissioner failed to specifically reference the burden shifting analysis stated in Ford v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut, Inc., 216 Conn. 40 (1990) in his finding and award and should have, the analysis was clearly set forth in the briefs before the trial commissioner. Further, the respondents’ challenge that the trial commissioner failed to articulate the basis of his conclusion, would not be reversed as it was being presented for the first time on appeal. The respondents failed to file either a motion to correct or motion to articulate and thus, did not preserve the issue for appellate review. Finally, the commissioner’s finding is fully supported by the evidence. The Supreme Court granted certification limited to the question of whether the Appellate Court properly affirmed the commissioner’s decision. However, upon hearing the claims at oral argument and on the basis of legal argument and the evidentiary record, the Supreme Court rephrased the certified question as: Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that the commissioner had applied the correct legal standard despite the fact that the finding and award did not expressly recite that relevant legal standard? The Supreme Court held that the Appellate Court’s holding that the trial commissioner should have recited the Ford burden shifting analysis in the finding and award was incorrect. The reference to the Ford burden shifting analysis should not be set out in a finding and award but should be expressed in a memorandum of decision accompanying the finding and award. The Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s conclusion that there was nothing on which it could base a conclusion that the trial commissioner did not apply the Ford burden shifting analysis. Further, the respondents, in order to preserve the issue as to the trier’s basis for his conclusion, should have sought an articulation. Supreme Court held that a motion to correct is not synonymous with a motion for articulation.

Krajewski v. Atlantic Machine Tool Works, Inc., 4500 CRB-6-02-3 (March 7, 2003).

Claimant had litigated discrimination/discharge claim in prior proceeding. Circumstances surrounding layoff had been determined, and CRB declined to reconsider that or related issues ten years later. See, Krajewski, § 31-278, § 31-284b, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9, § 31-312, § 31-313, § 31-315; prior decisions at Krajewski, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 44, 2120 CRB-6-94-8 (November 28, 1995), § 31-308a; Krajewski, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 54, 1387 CRD-6-92-2 (April 1, 1993), § 31-290a.

Kenyon v. General Dynamics Corp./Electric Boat Division, 4521 CRB-1-02-4 (June 4, 2002).

See, Kenyon, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. prior decision at Kenyon, 4497 CRB-1-02-3 (March 13, 2002), infra.

Kenyon v. General Dynamics Corp./Electric Boat Division, 4497 CRB-1-02-3 (March 13, 2002).

Commissioner granted respondent’s Motion to Dismiss claim for § 31-290a benefits. Trier found claimant was discharged in 1985 and entered into a full and final award by stipulation in 1987. Claimant’s right to bring a § 31-290a action was effectively foreclosed by this stipulation, which did not except a § 31-290a claim. Claimant, acting pro se, filed an appeal with the CRB. Jurisdiction over § 31-290a appeals lies with Appellate Court, and not with CRB. Appeal dismissed. Subsequent decision at Kenyon, 4521 CRB-1-02-4 (June 4, 2002), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Somsky v. Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, Inc., 4336 CRB-4-01-1 (November 15, 2001).

See Somsky, § 31-301. Appeal procedure (dismissal of unprosecuted appeal from § 31-290a and attorney’s fee order, partly on jurisdictional grounds and partly due to dilatory prosecution).

Johnson v. Rainbow Rentals, 4295 CRB-1-00-9 (January 18, 2001).

CRB dismissed claimant’s petition for review, as board does not have jurisdiction over § 31-290a appeals.

Knoblaugh v. Daniel Marshall, M.D., 4174 CRB-1-00-1 (February 4, 2000).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over claimant’s appeal. Statute requires that appeal proceed to Appellate Court. See, Knoblaugh v. Daniel Marshall, aff’d, 64 Conn. App. 32 (2001). Appellate Court affirmed trial commissioner’s finding that claimant failed to sustain her burden of proof that her employer had terminated her employment for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Prioli v. State/Connecticut State Library/Arts Commission, 3955 CRB-6-98-12 (January 13, 2000), aff’d, 64 Conn. App. 301 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 917 (2001).

Attorney procured finding that claimant was discharged in retaliatory manner, and claimant received a substantial award. Issue later arose regarding proper amount of attorney’s fee due. CRB noted trial commissioner’s ruling that this commission has jurisdiction to determine attorney’s fees in a § 31-290a action, as claimant chose this forum in which to try case. Although CRB lacks jurisdiction over merits of a § 31-290a appeal, a dispute over the correct amount of attorney’s fees that arises out of a § 31-290a case and spawns a separate award may still be appealed to the review board, as such fee amounts are regulated by this commission. Remedies under § 31-290a may not be a standard part of the overall workers’ compensation benefits package, but they still fall within the penumbra of the Act. See also, Prioli, § 31-278, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9, § 31-315, § 31-327. Subsequent ruling in Prioli, 3955 CRB-6-98-12 (October 16, 2000), § 31-301c.

Hall v. Residence Inn By Marriott, 4145 CRB-3-99-11 (December 14, 1999).

Board lacks jurisdiction over claimant’s appeal. Statute requires that appeal proceed to Appellate Court.

Brett v. Pratt & Whitney, 4137 CRB-1-99-10 (October 29, 1999).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over claimant’s appeal. Statute requires that appeal proceed to Appellate Court.

Bylo v. Pepsi Cola Company, 4058 CRB-3-99-6 (July 13, 1999).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over respondent’s appeal. Statute requires that appeal proceed to Appellate Court.

Chernovitz v. Preston Trucking Co., aff’d, 52 Conn. App. 570 (1999).

Appellate Court affirmed on appeal trier’s determination that the respondent employer had discriminated against the claimant by delaying his return to regular duties when he was released from work restrictions by his treating physician.

McKnight v. Dept. of Correction, aff’d, 52 Conn. App. 902 (1999).

Trier found claimant failed to establish that he was discharged or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In addition claimant filed a voluntary resignation with respondent employer. Affirmed on appeal.

Rapuano v. Yale University, 3868 CRB-3-98-7 (August 24, 1998).

The board lacks jurisdiction over appeals relating to § 31-290a, as that statute specifically provides: “Any party aggrieved by the decision of the commissioner may appeal the decision to the Appellate Court.” Accordingly, the board dismissed the claimant’s appeal.

Williams v. Shawmut Mortgage Co., rev’d, 49 Conn. App. 114 (1998).

Commissioner acting for the First District had dismissed claim before conducting a full hearing on the merits of the case. Trier found in accordance with Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992), that the stipulation in and of itself ended all rights to compensation. Appellate Court reversed the trier’s finding of no subject matter jurisdiction and remanded the matter for further proceedings on the preclusive effect, if any, of the stipulation. If the stipulation is found not to be preclusive, then a full hearing should be conducted on the merits of the case.

Loftus v. Vincent, rev’d in part, 49 Conn. App. 66 (1998).

Commissioner acting for the Fourth District found claimant was wrongfully discharged. Appellate Court affirmed trier’s finding. However, trier’s award of back wages was reversed, as trier failed to make due allowance for payments made by respondent during the period of claimant’s disability resulting from his injury.

Gilberto v. Colonial Sanitation, aff’d, 48 Conn. App. 907 (1998)(per curiam).

Appellate Court affirmed decision of trial commissioner dismissing § 31-290a claim.

Mikishka v. Meriden, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 178, 3574 CRB-8-97-3 (May 2, 1997).

See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992). Subsequent decision at Mikishka v. Meriden, 3869 CRB-8-98-7 (September 3, 1999).

Young v. SVG Lithography Systems, Inc., 3927 CRB-7-97-11 (November 18, 1998).

The trier dismissed the claimant’s § 31-290a complaint, finding insufficient proof that he had been terminated in retaliation for pursuing his rights under Chapter 568. Board dismissed appeal, as jurisdiction over § 31-290a appeals lies with the Appellate Court.

Czekala v. United Technologies Corp., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 287, 3325 CRB-4-96-4 (June 20, 1996).

Compensation Review Board lacks jurisdiction over appeals relating to § 31-290a. See, Rondini, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Pacheco v. Housing Authority of Willimantic, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 170, 2140 CRB-2-94-9 (March 6, 1996), aff’d, 40 Conn. App. 907 (1996)(per curiam).

The trial commissioner ruled that the claimant was discharged in violation of § 31-290a C.G.S and ordered the reinstatement of the claimant. The commissioner’s decision was based on a formal hearing held on July 27, 1994 at which only the claimant and her union representative were present. On August 24, 1994, the respondent filed a motion to open the award, arguing that the respondent’s representative was unable to attend the hearing at the scheduled time due to an emergency, and that the proceedings should have been delayed until his arrival. The trial commissioner denied the respondent’s motion to reopen after holding a formal hearing on the motion. As the Appellate Court has reviewed these issues and has found no error on the part of the trial commissioner, we will thus dismiss the respondent’s appeal to this board as moot.

Morales v. Bridgeport, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 190, 3087 CRB-4-95-6 (July 11, 1995).

Appeal dismissed. See, Rondini, infra.

O’Brien v. X-Pect Discount, 42 Conn. App. 905 (1996)(per curiam).

Appellate Court affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion that the employer did not violate § 31-290a when it reduced claimant’s hours of work. The trier found that the claimant’s excessive absences from work served as a legitimate basis to reduce claimant’s hours.

Morales v. Hydro Conduit Corp., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 10, 2155 CRB-6-94-9 (October 17, 1994).

CRB lacks jurisdiction to hear and decide § 31-290a appeals. See, Carreira v. Data Mail, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 268, 1391 CRB-6-92-3 (November 18, 1993); Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Dexter v. Anchor Glass Container, Inc., 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 273, 1889 CRB-5-93-11 (November 18, 1993).

Respondents’ motion to dismiss filed on the basis that the CRB lacks jurisdiction to hear and decide § 31-290a claims granted. See, Rondini, infra.

Carreira v. Data Mail, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 268, 1391 CRB-6-92-3 (November 18, 1993).

Claimant’s appeal dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Zienka v. New Britain, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 143, 1407 CRB-6-92-4 (August 2, 1993), aff’d, 34 Conn. App. 913 (1994), cert. denied, 230 Conn. 905 (1994).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over § 31-290a claims. See, Rondini, infra. See also, Zienka, § 31-313.

Erisoty v. Merrow Machine Company, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 131, 1639 CRB-6-93-2 (June 25, 1993), aff’d, 34 Conn. App. 708 (1994), motion for reargument denied (July 20, 1994), cert. denied, 231 Conn. 908 (1994).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over § 31-290a claims. See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Ayres v. United Methodist Homes of Connecticut, Inc., 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 113, 1670 CRB-4-93-3 (June 9, 1993).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over § 31-290a claims. See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Parmanand v. Cushman Industries Co., 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 64, 1283 CRD-1-91-8 (April 21, 1993).

See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Jones v. Middletown Manufacturing, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 56, 1296 CRD-8-91-9 (April 5, 1993).

See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Krajewski v. Atlantic Aerospace, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 54, 1387 CRD-6-92-2 (April 1, 1993).

CRB lacks jurisdiction to hear § 31-290a claims. See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992). Subsequent decisions on other issues at Krajewski, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 44, 2120 CRB-6-94-8 (November 28, 1995) and Krajewski, 4500 CRB-6-02-3 (March 7, 2003).

Thorpe v. Ducci Electric Co., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 245, 1235 CRD-6-91-5 (January 7, 1993), aff’d, 33 Conn. App. 922 (1994)(per curiam).

See, Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

Rondini v. Tectonic Industries, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210 , 1231 CRD-6-91-5 (December 4, 1992).

CRB has no statutory authority or jurisdiction to hear or decide § 31-290a matters. Prior rulings as to the jurisdiction of the CRB to review § 31-290a appellate claims overruled. See, Anderson v. State, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 153, 958 CRD-5-89-12 (June 5, 1991) and Hill v. Pitney Bowes, Inc., 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 98, 832 CRD-7-89-3 (May 17, 1990). Also, a stipulation is a binding award which bars a further claim for compensation including a § 31-290a claim unless the requirements of § 31-315 allowing for modification are satisfied.

Anderson v. State/Correctional Dept., 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 153, 958 CRD-5-89-12 (June 5, 1991).

Trial commissioner affirmed where evidence below supports trier’s conclusion claimant’s dismissal was not in retaliation for claimant’s exercising his workers’ compensation rights but the result of unauthorized absences.

Hill v. Pitney Bowes, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 98, 832 CRD-7-89-3 (May 17, 1990).

Determination of whether employer was guilty of discriminatory discharge is a question of fact. See also, Hill, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-313.

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