The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut recently granted the summary judgment motion that Ryan & Ryan, LLC filed on behalf of its client, a machine and metal component company in Milford, Connecticut.
In the lawsuit, the Plaintiff alleged that she was subject to discrimination based on her disability, that her employer refused to provide a reasonable accommodation for her disability (wrist and knee injuries), and that she was retaliated against on account of her filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Ryan & Ryan, LLC conducted fact discovery and marshaled support for the defense theories that (a) the Plaintiff failed to demonstrate a prima facie case; (b) there were legitimate non-discriminatory business reasons for altering the plaintiff’s job duties; (c) the employer reasonably accommodated any alleged disability; and (d) the plaintiff failed to establish conduct sufficient to support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Thereafter, Ryan & Ryan, LLC submitted a written motion for summary judgment. Judge Victor Bolden granted summary judgment in favor of Ryan & Ryan, LLC’s client as to all of the Plaintiff’s claims.
In Sprain Brook Manor Nursing Home, Ltd., Board Case No. 02-CA-040231 (reported at 361 NLRB No. 54) (2d Cir. decided, November 18, 2015), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that substantial evidence supported the Board’s findings and enforced the Board’s order in full.
Specifically, the Board concluded that Sprain Brook Manor told a Union member that she would have “trouble” if she left the room during her discharge meeting to find a Union representative, finding it “objectively reasonable for [the Union member] to have believed that the threatened consequences were serious and negative and thus sufficiently coercive to violate Section 8(a)(1).”
Next, the Second Circuit upheld the Board’s finding that the Union member’s discharge was retaliatory and motivated by Union hostility in violation of Sections 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(1). In this regard, the Board found that Sprain Brook Manor terminated the Union member on account of her prior participation in highly visible union activities such as picketing and collective bargaining negotiations.
Finally, the Second Circuit upheld the Board’s determination that Sprain Brook Manor committed four violations of Section 8(a)(5) of the Act by unilaterally rescinding or altering employee benefits. Specifically, it found that Sprain Brook Manor eliminated free lunches, on-site check cashing, free physical examinations and tuberculosis tests required for continued employment, and a monthly payment to employees who declined health insurance, without first bargaining with the Union.