United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
W. Eginton, Senior U.S. District Judge
Maria Garay alleges that defendants Manchester Police
Department (“MPD”), Chief Montminy, Lieutenant
Grant, Lieutenant Ellsworth, Sergeant Rossetti, and Officer
Wagner are liable for violations of Title VII and the
Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act ("CFEPA")
due to national origin, ancestry, gender, and sexual
orientation discrimination; hostile work environment; and
retaliation. In addition, she alleges the common law actions
of intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent
infliction of emotional distress.
move to dismiss the state law claims and the Title VII claims
for sexual orientation discrimination, hostile work
environment and retaliations claims.
does not contest dismissal of her CFEPA and negligent
infliction of emotional distress claims. However, plaintiff
opposes the dismissal of the Title VII and the intentional
infliction of emotional distress claims.
following background is taken from the allegations of the
complaint, which are considered to be true for purposes of
ruling on a motion to dismiss.
has worked as a police officer for MPD since December 2001.
In 2006, after she became a Field Training Officer
(“FTO”), plaintiff was responsible for training
2015, plaintiff noticed that she was not being assigned any
new recruits. She confronted Lieutenant Grant, who admitted
that one or more sergeants were retaliating against her for
passing a certain officer through the FTO Program. After this
discussion, plaintiff endured a series of reprisals and
escalating harassment, including, inter alia, being
shunned by other officers; being told to meet with her union
representative after indication that she was subject to an
investigation; receiving a text stating, “Fucking nasty
bitch” from an officer; and finding a porcelain angel
doll with broken legs, arms and wing in her laundry bag.
October 7, 2015, plaintiff, who was then pro se,
filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human
Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”). In her CHRO
complaint, she asserted national origin, ancestry and gender
discrimination in violation of CFEPA and Title VII.
CHRO's release of jurisdiction was dated June 27, 2017.
On September 25, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant complaint.
The defendants were served on October 5, 2017.
function of a motion to dismiss is "merely to assess the
legal feasibility of the complaint, not to assay the weight
of the evidence which might be offered in support
thereof." Ryder Energy Distribution v. Merrill Lynch
Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984).
When deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all
well-pleaded allegations as true and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the pleader. Hishon v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984). A complaint should not
be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that the
plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim
which would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957).
Defendants assert that sexual orientation discrimination is
not recognized as a plausible Title VII claim. However, the
Second Circuit recently overruled its prior precedent by
holding that sexual orientation discrimination is actionable
Title VII sex discrimination. Zarda v. Altitude Express,
Inc., 883 ...