United States District Court, D. Connecticut
SUMMARY DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed the instant action on September 12, 2017, alleging
unlawful discrimination and retaliation in violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and
Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act
(“CFEPA”), interference and retaliation under the
state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts
(“FMLA” and “CTFMLA”), as well as
breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, negligent misrepresentation, and negligent
inducement. Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss the Complaint. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
following facts are based on the allegations in the
Complaint, which are taken as true and construed in the light
most favorable to Plaintiff for the purpose of a motion to
dismiss. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46
(1957). Defendants Shandex Corporation
(“Shandex”) and Ocean Link Co., Ltd.
(“Ocean Link”) (together,
“Defendants”) are New Jersey corporations with
headquarters in New Jersey. Cmplt. at ¶ 3. The
Defendants conduct business in Connecticut and maintain a
corporate office in Guilford. Id. The Defendants
“operate as a single employer because they maintain the
same corporate headquarters both here in Connecticut and in
New Jersey, share the same management, share the same human
resources department, have the same shareholders and have the
same email communications system.” Id. The
“combined defendant affiliate companies employ more
than 75 employees.” Id. at ¶ 54.
is a Connecticut resident who was employed by Defendants as a
full-time salesperson beginning on January 4, 2016.
Id. at ¶¶ 2, 10. The job posting to which
Plaintiff responded stated the salesperson hired would be
expected to do “a lot of B2B cold calling” to
effectuate sales, but would be provided “leads [which]
are well qualified and generally well received.”
Id. at ¶ 8. The starting salary was $35, 000
plus commission, which the job description stated would be
between $1, 500 and $5, 000 annually, and benefits.
Id. The salesperson would receive an automatic $5,
000 salary increase in year two. Id. When Plaintiff
interviewed with Defendants' owner, Stewart Yao, Mr. Yao
offered Plaintiff a position as a sales associate with a
starting base salary of $35, 000, consistent with the job
posting. Id. at ¶ 10. However, Mr. Yao stated
Plaintiff “should expect to earn at least $60, 000
during the first year based on his past sales
experience.” Id. Mr. Yao also stated
Plaintiff's healthcare benefits would begin after a
90-day review period. Id. Defendants
“specifically agreed to the terms outlined” in
the job posting at Plaintiff's interview, including the
$5, 000 raise in year two. Id. at ¶ 67.
beginning work as a salesperson for Defendants, Plaintiff
discovered that the “few leads he was given were to
companies that had been called previously by an employee that
had been terminated about two months after Mr. Scinto
started.” Id. at ¶ 11. His calls were not
well-received, and the leads provided by Defendants did not
result in sales. Id. In addition, Plaintiff was
frequently asked to solicit clients in different markets due
to evolving laws regarding international trade and
Defendants' conflicts of interest. Id. at ¶
12. Plaintiff found it difficult to continually change
markets, as each new market required him to “start all
over again” with “different types of
his difficulty, after his 90-day probationary period,
Plaintiff was told he was doing well, and that his health
insurance coverage would begin on April 1, 2016. Id.
at ¶ 13. When he did not receive health insurance as
scheduled, he followed up with Defendants, and Defendants
responded by instructing Plaintiff to “do research in
order to find health insurance on his own.”
Id. After “many back and forth communications,
Mr. Scinto was provided health insurance in June 2016 with an
insurer found by [Defendants].” Id.
first year of work, Plaintiff earned $834.72 in commission.
Id. at ¶ 14. Plaintiff expressed concern about
his sales volume, but sales manager Dan Murray instructed him
to “continue in the direction that was laid out.”
Id. at 5.
November 2016, Plaintiff was diagnosed with prostate cancer
and was told he would require surgery in February or March of
2017. Id. at ¶ 15. The surgery would
necessitate four to six weeks of recovery. Id.
Plaintiff informed Mr. Murray; Mr. Murray did not mention how
Plaintiff's medical condition would impact his work.
December 20, 2016, Mr. Murray told Plaintiff that Mr. Yao
instructed that Plaintiff was to take on a new role based on
his low sales volume in 2016. Id. at ¶ 20. In
the new position, Plaintiff would no longer solicit business,
but would instead be “in charge of servicing and
supporting Mr. Murray's customer accounts, and would
receive ten percent of his commission on the resulting
sales.” Id. Plaintiff accepted the new
December 30, 2016, Mr. Yao and Mr. Wong, Defendants'
founder, held Plaintiff's year-end review. Id.
at ¶¶ 17-18. At that meeting, Plaintiff asked
whether he would be allowed to return to work after he
recovered from his surgery, emphasized that he did not expect
to be paid during his absence, and “made sure the
company was aware that he had made up the time he had lost
due to absences for doctor appointments.” Id.
at ¶ 18. Mr. Yao and Mr. Wong did not answer
Plaintiff's questions about how his surgery would impact
his job security, and did not provide any feedback on
Plaintiff's job performance. Id.
January 1, 2017, Plaintiff learned he would not receive the
agreed upon $5, 000 raise, and emailed Mr. Yao and Mr. Murray
“expressing his disappointment.” Id. at
¶ 19. Later that month, Plaintiff informed Mr. Murray
that his surgery was scheduled for March 14, 2017.
Id. at ¶ 20.
February 6, 2017, Plaintiff asked Mr. Murray for job
performance feedback, and Mr. Murray “said that he had
told Mr. Yao that Mr. Scinto was doing great job in his new
position.” Id. at ¶ 21. Consistent with
that statement, Plaintiff asserts he “received nothing
but positive reviews and comments about his work
performance” through the course of his employment.
Id. at ¶ 23. However, on February 28, 2017, Mr.
Murray terminated Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 22. Mr.
Murray stated “it just isn't working out, ”
and did not explain what if anything had changed since his
positive feedback earlier that month. Id. Mr. Murray
indicated that Plaintiff would receive his monthly paycheck
in March and his health insurance would extend through April
30, 2017. Id. Plaintiff's health insurance
continued as promised, but Plaintiff never received his final
paycheck. Id. at ¶ 25. Plaintiff asserts he was
terminated not due to poor performance, but because of his
disability and surgery. Id. at ¶ 26.
challenged his termination with the Connecticut Commission on
Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”) and
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”). Id. at ¶ 4. On July 17,
2017, Plaintiff received a notice of right to sue from the
EEOC, and on August 10, 2017, he received a release of
jurisdiction from the CHRO. Id. at ¶¶ 5-6.