United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ROBERT A. DEL MONACO, Plaintiff,
CZECH ASSET MANAGEMENT, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, CZECH MANAGEMENT GP, LLC, AND STEPHEN J. CZECH, Defendants.
RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.
A. Del Monaco brings this suit against his former employer,
Czech Asset Management, LP (“CAM”), a related
entity, Czech Management GP, LLC (“GP”), and
CAM's principal, Stephen J. Czech. Mr. Del Monaco claims
that Defendants failed to deliver a promised bonus of $200,
000 for work performed in 2013, and brings claims of breach
of contract against CAM and GP (Count One), promissory
estoppel against CAM and GP (Count Two), and violation of
Connecticut wage statutes against CAM, GP, and Mr. Czech
(Counts Three and Four). Defendants now move for summary
judgment on all counts, arguing among other things that Mr.
Del Monaco became ineligible for a bonus when he gave notice
of his resignation on June 1, 2014. (ECF No. 50.) For the
reasons set forth below, the defendants' motion is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
following facts are undisputed. Defendant CAM is an asset
management company doing business in Connecticut, Defendant
GP is CAM's general partner, and Defendant Stephen Czech
is CAM's Managing Partner. (Defendant's Local Rule
56(a)1 Statement, ECF No. 52 (“Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1
Stmt.”) ¶¶ 1-3; Plaintiff's Local Rule
56(a)2 Statement, ECF No. 54-10 (“Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2
Stmt.”) ¶¶ 1-3. In January 2012, CAM hired
plaintiff Robert Del Monaco to be its Chief Financial
Officer, and he began work in March 2012. (Def.'s L.R.
56(a)1 Stmt. ¶¶ 4-5; Pl.'s L.R. 56(a)2 Stmt.
Offer Letter and Employee Handbook
to beginning work at CAM, Mr. Del Monaco received and
acknowledged both an offer letter and the CAM employee
handbook. (Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 Stmt ¶¶ 5, 8, 10;
Pl's L.R. 56(a)2 Stmt. ¶¶ 5, 8, 10.) Regarding
2012 compensation, the offer letter stated:
For calendar year 2012, your annualized Total Reward will
consist of an annual base salary of $200, 000 paid in
semi-monthly installments… and a discretionary cash
bonus payable when year-end cash bonuses are paid to similar
situated employees, and in no event later than March 15,
2013, both contingent upon satisfactory performance and
conduct and that you remain employed through, and not give or
receive notice of termination of your employment prior to, in
each case, the applicable payment date.
(Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 Stmt ¶¶ 6; Pl's L.R.
56(a)2 Stmt. ¶ 6; ECF No. 54-1 at 1.) The offer letter
also required “sixty (60) days advance written notice
of your Resignation” and provided that “during
the Notice Period… [you] will continue to be paid your
base salary…. However, you will not be eligible to
receive any compensation other than base salary (i.e., a
bonus) if you decide to leave CAM.” (Def.'s L.R.
56(a)1 Stmt ¶ 6; Pl's L.R. 56(a)2 Stmt. ¶ 6;
ECF No. 54-1 at 2.) The offer letter also states that
“this offer is contingent upon… your review and
acknowledgment of the provisions of the CAM employee
handbook.” (ECF No. 54-1 at 4.)
employee handbook provides further detail on bonus
compensation at CAM, explaining that bonuses are
discretionary and that employees are ineligible for bonuses
if they are not in “good standing”:
Depending on business conditions and Firm performance, and an
employee's individual performance and conduct… the
Firm may pay a discretionary year-end bonus as incentive
compensation to certain eligible employees. Even if eligible,
an employee who is not deemed to be in good standing at the
time such bonuses are paid, will not receive a bonus. The
decision whether to pay a bonus, and if so how much, is at
the sole discretion of the Managing Partner.
(Def.'s L.R. 56(a)1 Stmt ¶ 9; Pl's L.R. 56(a)2
Stmt. ¶¶ 9; ECF No. 54-2 at 5.) The handbook then
goes on to define “good standing”:
An employee will not be deemed to be in good standing under
this policy, as determined by the Firm in its sole
discretion, if, among other things, he or she (i) is not, for
any reason, an employee of the Firm at the time that bonuses
are paid to similarly situated employees, (ii) has given or
received notice of termination prior to the bonus payment
date, (iii) is subject to a notice of termination requirement
and has not complied with any applicable notice requirement
or (iv) is deemed by the Firm in its discretion to not be in
good standing because, for example, the employee is not
meeting the Firm's performance and conduct ...