November 28, 2018
damages for, inter alia, alleged pregnancy discrimination,
and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the
judicial district of Hartford, where the court,
Noble, J., granted the defendant's
motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment thereon,
from which the plaintiff appealed to this court.
Matthew Muttart, with whom, on the brief, was James V.
Sabatini, for the appellant (plaintiff).
A. Bove´ e, with whom, on the brief, was Justin E.
Theriault, for the appellee (defendant).
Sheldon, Bright and Harper, Js.
appeal arises from a pregnancy discrimination action brought
by the plaintiff, Mouy Taing, under the Connecticut Fair
Employment Practices Actagainst the defendant, CAMRAC, LLC,
after she was terminated from her employment with the
defendant.On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the
trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of
the defendant. Specifically, she claims that there was a
genuine issue of material fact as to whether the
defendant's proffered reason for her termination was
pre-textual. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
following undisputed facts and procedural history are
relevant to this appeal. The plaintiff was hired by the
defendant in April, 2013, for a position that entailed
renting cars to customers. Despite issues with tardiness, the
plaintiff was promoted in January, 2014, to the position of
account executive, in which she sold cars to customers.
Throughout the plaintiff's employment with the defendant,
the plaintiff received numerous performance evaluations
documenting that she was habitually tardy for her shifts. On
July 18, 2014, the plaintiff received a written warning for
arriving late to work on multiple occasions without notifying
management, in violation of the defendant's attendance
and punctuality policy. The warning informed the plaintiff that
her tardiness was unacceptable and that, if her attendance
record did not improve, she would be subject to further
discipline up to and including termination. Matthew Fisher,
the plaintiff's manager, and Kevin Hill, a supervisor,
met with the plaintiff to assist her in planning out her
daily schedule so that she could avoid being tardy. Moreover,
the defendant twice permitted the plaintiff to alter her work
schedule to better accommodate her child care
about December 16, 2014, the plaintiff notified the
defendant's human resources department that she was
pregnant. The plaintiff also notified her supervisors, Hill
and Fisher, of her pregnancy. On December 19, 2014, the
plaintiff received a final written warning, noting that she
continued to be habitually tardy despite adjustments made to
her work schedule. Additionally, the warning stated that her
position would be terminated if she was tardy again. On
December 22, 2014, however, the plaintiff was again late. On
December 24, 2014, Fisher sent the plaintiff home after she
arrived late to work. On December 29, 2014, the next day that
the plaintiff was scheduledtowork, she was terminated. At
that time, Fisher informed the plaintiff that she was being
terminated for tardiness.
obtaining a release of jurisdiction from the Commission on
Human Rights and Opportunities,  the plaintiff filed a three
count complaint against the defendant, alleging, inter alia,
pregnancy discrimination in violation of General Statutes
(Rev. to 2013) § 46a-60 (a) (7), now § 46a-60 (b)
The defendant subsequently moved for summary judgment on all
counts of the plaintiff's complaint. In a memorandum of
decision, the court granted the defendant's motion,
agreeing with the defendant that the plaintiff had failed to
produce any evidence that raises a genuine issue of material
fact that the defendant's proffered reason for
terminating the plaintiff was pretextual. This appeal
followed. Additional facts will be provided as necessary.
first set forth the relevant standard of review and legal
principles that guide our analysis. ‘‘Practice
Book § 17-49 provides that summary judgment shall be
rendered forthwith if the pleadings, affidavits and any other
proof submitted show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. In deciding a motion for summary
judgment, the trial court must view the evidence in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. . . . The party moving
for summary judgment has the burden of showing . . . that the
party is . . . entitled to judgment as a matter of law. . . .
Our review of the trial court's decision to grant the
defendant's motion for summary judgment is
plenary.'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.)
Hopkins v. O'Connor, 282 Conn. 821,
829, 925 A.2d 1030 (2007).
the plaintiff's claim is based solely on Connecticut law,
‘‘Connecticut anti discrimination statutes should
be interpreted in accordance with federal antidiscrimination
laws.'' Curry v. Allan S. Goodman,
Inc., 286 Conn. 390, 407, 944 A.2d 925 (2008).
‘‘In defining the contours of an employer's
duties under our state antidiscrimination statutes, we have
looked for guidance to federal case law interpreting Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal statutory
counterpart to § 46a-60.'' Brittell v.
Dept. of Correction, 247 Conn. 148, 164, 717 A.2d
legal standards governing discrimination claims involving
adverse employment actions are well established. The
framework this court employs in assessing disparate treatment
discrimination claims under Connecticut law was adapted from
the United States Supreme Court's decision in
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.Green, 411 U.S.
792, 802, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973), and its
progeny. . . . Under this analysis, the employee must first
make a prima facie case of discrimination. . . . In order for
the employee to first make a prima facie case of
discrimination, the plaintiff must show: (1) the plaintiff is
a member of a protected class; (2) the plaintiff was
qualified for the position; (3) the plaintiff suffered an
adverse employment action; and (4) the adverse employment
action occurred under circumstances that give rise to an
inference of discrimination. . . . The employer may then
rebut the prima facie case by stating a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory justification for the employment decision
in question. . . . The employee then must demonstrate that
the reason proffered by the employer is merely a pretext and
that the decision actually was motivated by illegal
discriminatory bias.'' (Citations omitted; internal
quotation marks omitted.) Feliciano v.Autozone,
Inc., 316 Conn. 65, 73-74, 111 A.3d 453 (2015).
‘‘[T]o defeat summary judgment . . . the