United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Tachica Callahan worked for the City of New Haven's
public schools for five years before defendant City of New
Haven Board of Education fired her in 2010 because of chronic
attendance and tardiness problems. In August 2014, Callahan
applied for a paraprofessional position with the Board, and
she was hired yet again-but only for a few weeks before the
Board's human resources department realized that she had
previously worked for the school system and been terminated.
On that basis, the Board fired her again.
contends, however, that the Board discriminated against her
for the proverbial kitchen sink of reasons-because of her
race, because of her sex, because of her age, because of her
marital status, and because of the fact that she had prior
criminal convictions. Callahan also throws in a sponge of
retaliation-that the Board fired her to retaliate for the
fact that Callahan's mother (also coincidentally an
employee of the New Haven school system) had filed
Board has moved for summary judgment. It argues that only
after Callahan had been hired in 2014 did it figure out that
she had previously been fired in 2010 and so terminated her
on that basis. I conclude on the basis of the parties'
respective statements of material fact that there is no
genuine dispute of fact that the Board's account is
correct and that it is entitled to summary judgment as a
matter of law. I will therefore grant the Board's motion
for summary judgment.
Tachica Callahan has filed this action against defendant City
of New Haven Board of Education. I take the facts pertinent
to the Board's motion for summary judgment as follows
principally from the parties' Local Rule 56(a)
Callahan is an unmarried African-American woman who was born
in 1982. Docs. #57 at 1 (¶ 3); #66-1 at 1 (¶ 3).
Callahan worked for the Board as a paraprofessional
teacher's aide at several New Haven public schools from
2005 until the Board terminated her employment in April 2010.
Docs. #57 at 1-2 (¶¶ 2, 6); #66-1 at 1-2
(¶¶ 2, 6).
Callahan was working for the Board, she was convicted of
crimes involving breach of the peace and assault in 2005 and
2006. Docs. #57 at 1 (¶ 3); #66-1 at 1 (¶ 3). The
Board does not have a policy of precluding employment to
people who have criminal backgrounds. Docs. #57 at 1-2
(¶ 5); #66-1 at 1-2 (¶ 5). All the same, the Board
contends that that from 2005 to 2010, Callahan was frequently
absent, missing multiple days of work. Doc. #57 at 2 (¶
7). The Board also contends that her evaluations showed that
her attendance needed improvement, and that the Board
progressively disciplined Callahan for numerous instances of
tardiness and absences- including multiple written warnings
and suspensions without pay. Ibid. (¶¶
denies these allegations, citing only to the same exhibits as
the Board, and not indicating which evidence negates the
Board's contentions. See Doc. #66-1 at 2
(¶¶ 7-10). The Board's exhibits show extensive
evidence of chronic absences, poor evaluations, and
disciplinary measures against Callahan. See Doc. #56
at 36-48, 58, 66, 68-69, 73, 77-78, 81-89, 112 (¶ 10).
short, the record supports the Board's position, and
Callahan does not give any indication of how the same
evidence refutes those facts. As a self-represented litigant,
Callahan received the mandatory notice that must be served on
a self-represented litigant of the requirements of
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 and D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 56, see Doc.
#58, and therefore I deem the Board's statements of fact
admitted pursuant to D. Conn. L. Civ. R.
record shows, the Board's progressive disciplinary
measures included multiple steps. The Board first tried to
accommodate Callahan by permitting her to take a leave of
absence in early 2006, then transferred her to a school with
a later start time, then referred her to an employee
assistance program, and then allowed her to transfer yet
again to the school that her child attended. Doc. #57 at 2
October 23, 2009, Callahan and the Board entered into a
“last chance” settlement agreement. Docs. #57 at
3 (¶ 14); #66-1 at 3 (¶ 4). The last chance
agreement stipulated that Callahan could return to work after
a suspension and that she needed to report to work on time
each day through the end of the school year. Docs. #57 at 3
(¶ 15); #66-1 at 3 (¶ 15).
April 13, 2010, the Board terminated Callahan for continued
absenteeism. Docs. #57 at 3 (¶ 16); #66-1 at 3 (¶
16). She was in breach of the last chance agreement. Docs.
#57 at 3 (¶ 19); #66-1 at 4 (¶ 19).
did not file any discrimination complaints arising from her
2010 termination. Docs. #57 at 3 (¶ 18); #66-1 at 4
(¶ 18). Callahan's mother was also a Board employee,
and some years later in February 2013 her mother filed a
complaint against the Board with the Connecticut Commission
on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”) for
reasons not shown to be related to Callahan's firing in
2010. Doc. #56 at 112-13 (¶ 15).
August 2014, Callahan applied for a part-time
paraprofessional position in the New Haven public schools.
Docs. #57 at 3 (¶ 20); #66-1 at 4 (¶ 20). The Board
contends that on August 29, Early Childhood Director Tina
Mannerino-who was a 50-year old married white woman with no
criminal history-hired Callahan as a part-time
paraprofessional at Wexler Grant Elementary School. Doc. #57
at 4 (¶ 21). According to the Board, Mannerino knew
about Callahan's previous employment applications, age,
sex, race, marital status, and prior criminal history.
Ibid. (¶ 22). But Callahan denies this account,
arguing that it was the Board's human resources
department that made the August 29 hiring decision, that the
human resources department was aware of her application
details, and that the human resources department had assigned
her to the same department where her mother worked. Doc.
#66-1 at 4 (¶¶ 21-22). Here, however, Callahan
supports this denial by citing generally to the same evidence
as does the Board-a CHRO factfinding report that supports the
Board's position. See Doc. #56 at 111 (¶
4). Because this report is admissible evidence that supports
the Board's factual contentions and because Callahan does
not point to any other evidence supporting her denial, I deem
these facts admitted in the Board's favor.
and the Board agree that while Callahan was working from
August to September 2014, no employee or agent of the Board
ever made any remarks related to her age, sex, race, or