United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT
W. EGINTON, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action, plaintiff Arshenna Hines alleges that defendant State
of Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”)
discriminated against her because she is an African-American
woman and retaliated against her for filing complaints. She
alleges disparate treatment based on race and gender in
violation of Title VII and the Connecticut Fair Employment
Practices Act (“CFEPA”); she alleges retaliation
in violation of Title VII and CFEPA.
has filed a motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's
claims of disparate treatment and retaliation. For the
following reasons, the motion for summary judgment will be
parties have submitted statements of undisputed facts,
exhibits and affidavits. These materials reflect the
following factual background.
commenced employment as a Correction Officer with DOC on
December 7, 2007. In June 2013, she was promoted to a
position as Correctional Treatment Officer
(“CTO”) and began a six-month promotional working
test period at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correction Institution.
to the relevant Collective Bargaining Agreement, a working
test period is considered an extension of the examination
process. Unsatisfactory performance during the working test
period is considered a failure of the competitive exam.
evaluations are given at three-month intervals during the
working test period, and a Unit Administrator/Warden may
direct the completion of an unscheduled evaluation when the
employee's performance shows a marked improvement or
was supervised by Jeffrey Zegarzewski, a former Correctional
Counselor Supervisor, and Martin Pluszynski, Correction
Lieutenant and Unit Manager for the Security Risk Group at
Corrigan. She was initially assigned to train with CTO Albert
Harraka, whom she alleges treated her adversely, and
Counselor Christie Huffer. Approximately one month later, due
to concerns about her performance, she was assigned to first
shift for an additional thirty days of supervision and
training with Harraka and Huffer.
September 4, 2013, Zegarzewski and Pluszynski completed an
initial performance evaluation of plaintiff. She was rated as
overall unsatisfactory, and she received a Notice of
Tardiness. The evaluation was approved by the Deputy Warden
and presented to the plaintiff on September 16, 2013.
assignment to first shift was extended another thirty days
for further on the job training. Plaintiff was provided with
a letter that extended her working test period by an
additional three months to give her an opportunity to improve
her performance. However, plaintiff refused to sign the
letter, and her working test period was not extended.
filed a grievance regarding her evaluation. However, the
grievance was withdrawn by her union because performance
evaluations cannot be grieved during a working test period
pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
September 6, 2013, plaintiff and Harraka had a verbal
conflict regarding work duties. Harraka was thereafter
temporarily transferred to another building pending
investigation. Harraka and plaintiff did not work together
again after that incident.
statement dated September 6, 2013, plaintiff indicated that
Harraka had been unprofessional and uncooperative. DOC staff
attempted mediation with Harraka and plaintiff but plaintiff
refused to participate. She told Deputy Warden Stephen Bates
that she wanted the matter investigated and that she had been
subjected to ...