United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
W. Eginton Senior U.S. District Judge.
Sharon Moore alleges that defendant Astread Ferron-Poole
denied plaintiff a promotion to Social Work Supervisor in the
Connecticut Department of Social Services (“DSS”)
due to plaintiff's race and age in violation of the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
moves for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff cannot
show an equal protection violation and that qualified
immunity shields defendant from liability. For the following
reasons, the motion for summary judgment will be granted in
parties have submitted statements of facts with supporting
exhibits, which reveal the following factual background.
is an African-American woman and the Chief of
Staff/Affirmative Action Administrator for DSS. She reports
to the Commissioner of DSS.
is an African-American woman born in 1952. She has worked at
DSS since 2006 as a Child Support Investigator. From 1987 to
1999, she worked at the Connecticut Department of Children
and Families, first as a Social Worker and then as a Social
required by state law to develop and implement an affirmative
action plan. Goals are established each year through a
formula developed by the Connecticut Human Rights and
Opportunities (“CHRO”) and set forth in its
regulations. Goal candidates fall within the race and gender
categories determined to be underrepresented in a particular
job classification. To comply with CHRO regulations and state
law, DSS must demonstrate a good faith effort to meet the
hiring and promotional goals in its affirmative action plan.
Goal candidates need only meet the minimum requirements of
September 2012, plaintiff applied for a promotion to a Social
Work Supervisor position in Adult Protective Services in
DSS's Hartford regional office. Each candidate was rated
by interviews as Superior, Acceptable, Marginal or
Unacceptable in the areas of technical competence,
motivation, judgment, interpersonal skills, responsiveness to
questions, and overall.
were three final candidates for the position: Plaintiff; an
African--American woman; and a Hispanic woman. All three of
the candidates received an overall rating of Acceptable. The
hiring managers recommended that plaintiff be offered the
January 2013, defendant considered the three candidates'
information, the hiring managers' recommendation, and the
DSS affirmative action goals for the Social Work Supervisor
position. At the time, DSS had the following hiring goals
relevant to the Social Work Supervisor position: Five
Caucasian males, one Hispanic female; one other
January 26, 2013, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and
Management (“OPM”) sent a memorandum to all state
agencies announcing a hiring freeze; it instructed state
agencies that any approval previously granted by OPM to
refill positions was revoked except for positions for which a
bona fide offer of employment had been made as of the close
of business on January 28, 2013.
January 28, 2013, defendant selected the Hispanic candidate.
DSS's Human Resources Personnel Officer ...