Rose Kallor is pleased to announce that it has secured dismissal of a CHRO Complaint brought by David Martinez, a prospective employee, for the Town of Westport Public Works. The dismissal was secured at the case assessment review stage, the earliest and initial step in the CHRO Complaint process.
Martinez applied for a position as a truck driver / laborer and was not invited to interview. The complaint alleged that the Town of Westport failed to hire him given his Hispanic race and Spanish ancestry.
However, Martinez did not list his racial or ancestral background on his employment application and provided no relevant experience or background on his application. Martinez also declined to provide a resume with his application that detailed his skills and qualifications for the position. Martinez also argued that he was denied for the position because of his last name.
Martinez's complaint ultimately failed given the strength of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut's precedent in Hannah v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 3:12-cv-01361 (VAB), 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17163 (D. Conn. Feb. 11, 2016). The case stands for the proposition that an inference of discrimination cannot be found when the individual ultimately selected for the position is of the same protected classification as the individual who was denied employment.
Here, the successful candidate hired over Martinez was also Hispanic and from the same protected class as Martinez. Therefore, under the Hannah decision, there was no inference of discrimination that could be imputed to the employer. In fact, additional Connecticut precedent, in Marrero v. Hoffman of Simsbury, No. HHD-CV-20-6129802-S, 2022 Conn. Super. LEXIS 447 (Super. Ct. Apr. 14, 2022), affirms that there is an “inference against discrimination” in cases where the individual ultimately hired is from the same protected class.
The CHRO found that the complainant conceded in his affidavit that he “did not disclose his race or ancestry in his application or communications with the Respondent” and that evidence likely to be produced would show that “Respondent hired someone of the same race and ancestry as the Complainant.” As a result, the CHRO dismissed the complaint after determining that there “is no reasonable possibility that investigating the complaint will result in a finding of reasonable cause.”
The case is David Martinez v. Town of Westport Department of Public Works, CHRO No. 2220252 / EEOC No. 16A-2022-00549. The Town of Westport Department of Public Works was represented by Rose Kallor Associate Andrew B.F. Carnabuci. For questions, Attorney Carnabuci can be reached at 860.361.7999.
The experienced counsel at Rose Kallor, LLP can provide guidance to employers in navigating claims by prospective employees of discrimination in the hiring process. Rose Kallor attorneys can be reached at 860.361.7999.
About Rose Kallor:
Rose Kallor, LLP is a labor and employment law firm with offices in Hartford, Connecticut and New York, New York. Rose Kallor concentrates its practice in the representation of public and private-sector employers, individuals, and municipalities in the New England and New York Metropolitan area. Committed to high-quality, professional representation, the attorneys at Rose Kallor stand ready to provide legal counsel on all aspects of employment and labor law. For more about Rose Kallor, visit our website at https://www.rosekallor.com/.