United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
W. EGINTON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action, plaintiff Ohan Karazogian alleges that defendant
Sam’s East, Inc.’s decision not to hire him
violated the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act
(“CFEPA”). Defendant has filed a motion for summary
judgment on the complaint in its entirety. For the following
reasons, the motion for summary judgment will be granted.
support of the motion for summary judgment, the parties have
submitted statements of undisputed facts with supporting
exhibits. Plaintiff has admitted all of the facts stated in
defendant’s statement of facts filed pursuant to Local
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a)(1).
1989 to 1993, plaintiff, who is of Armenian/Bulgarian
descent, was incarcerated based on his felony conviction for
cocaine distribution. He has a Connecticut optician license
and worked as an optician at Luxottica from June 2012 until
is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
March 2013, plaintiff applied for a part-time licensed
optician position in Health and Wellness at defendant’s
store in Orange, Connecticut. He had spoken with Steven
Canada, the optical manager, who directed him to apply online
for the opening in the Orange store.
March 14, 2013, Canada and the store manager, Frank Engel,
interviewed plaintiff. Plaintiff maintains that the interview
included a brief discussion of heritage.
extended plaintiff an offer of employment that was
conditional upon completion of a successful drug test and
background check as required by Wal-Mart. At the time
relevant to this action, Wal-Mart had a policy not to hire
for its Health and Wellness department an individual who had
been convicted of possession with intent to distribute
controlled substances. Wal-Mart adopted this policy after the
United States Drug Enforcement Agency issued regulations that
impose certain restrictions on persons that dispense or have
access to controlled substances. See 21 C.F. R.
accordance with the Wal-Mart background check process,
plaintiff completed a background check authorization form.
Plaintiff disclosed that he had a felony conviction for
“possession w/intent.” An outside vendor, General
Services, Inc. (“GIS”), conducted the background
check on plaintiff. On March 19, 2013, GIS sent plaintiff a
letter, notifying him that its report contained
“information that is likely to have an adverse effect
on your ability to obtain employment with Wal-Mart.”
The letter enclosed the background report, which included a
designation of plaintiff as
March 19, 2013, GIS also notified Cynthia LoRusso, the
Personnel and Training Coordinator at Sam’s Club, that
it had completed the background check and designated
plaintiff as “Non-Competitive.” On March 27, GIS
notified plaintiff by letter that his conditional offer was
rescinded. Plaintiff called the telephone number provided in
the letter and was informed that his offer was rescinded due
to his criminal conviction.
April 2013, defendant filled the licensed optician position
with a woman who was 63 years old and had been cleared by the
background check. In May 2013, defendant hired a woman, whom
plaintiff alleges was 43 years old and of Hispanic descent,
to fill a non-licensed optician position. Plaintiff had not
applied for this position.
motion for summary judgment will be granted where there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and it is clear that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate the absence
of any material factual issue genuinely in dispute.
American International Group, Inc. v. London American
International Corp., 664 F.2d 348, 351 (2d Cir. 1981).
In determining whether a genuine factual issue exists, the
court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable
inferences against the moving party. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). "Only when