CHRO: 9710032, Hodge - Decision

9710032, Hodge - Decision

CHRO ex rel. Pamela Hodge, Complainant CHRO # 9710032
v. 
State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, Respondent : October 6, 1999

 

Final Order and Memorandum of Decision

Parties

Complainant: Pamela Hodge
232 Jefferson Avenue
New London, CT 06320

Commission: Robert J. Brothers, Jr., Esq.
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
21 Grand Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Respondent: State of Connecticut
Department of Public Health
Thomasina Carr, Affirmative Action Officer
450 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06134

Peter Brown, Esq.
Office of the Attorney General
55 Elm Street, P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120

I.    Procedural Background

Pamela Hodge ("complainant"), filed a complaint and an amended complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ("commission") against the Connecticut Department of Public Health ("respondent") alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and General Statutes §§ 46a-58(a), 46a-60(a)(1) and 46a-70(a). Complainant alleges that she was denied a promotion to the position of Epidemiologist II and denied a training opportunity on the basis of her race/color (African American/Black) and/or her sex (female) as it relates to pregnancy. After due investigation, a reasonable cause finding was made. Following unsuccessful attempts at conciliation, proper notices for public hearing in this matter were issued to all parties.

This complaint was assigned to the undersigned as presiding human rights referee in substitution of the Honorable John Adams on March 1, 1999. The public hearing was held on May 5 and 6, 1999.

II.    Findings of Fact

From the evidence and testimony adduced at public hearing, the undersigned human rights referee finds the following facts relevant to the present decision:

  1. All statutory and procedural prerequisites to the public hearing were satisfied and this complaint was properly before the undersigned presiding human rights referee. The jurisdictional matters regarding this complaint were satisfied and stipulated to by the parties without objection. Record Exhibits 1-13, Stipulation of Facts ("Stip.") #9.
  2. The complainant is an African American/Black female. Stip. #2.
  3. On April 10, 1992, the complainant was hired by the respondent as a Clerk Typist for the Immunization Program of the Infectious Disease Division of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Department of Public Health. Transcript ("Tr.") 11, Stip. #3, Commission Exhibit (C) #1.
  4. Approximately one year after the complainant’s hire, she filed a union grievance claiming that she was working out of class and/or the respondent failed to promote her. Tr. 11-13.
  5. The union grievance was resolved by the respondent placing the complainant into a Connecticut Career Training Program on or about September 17, 1993. Stip. #4, C #5, Tr. 14-15.
  6. The complainant was not required to complete a formal written job application when she was promoted from Clerk Typist to Connecticut Career Trainee. Tr. 42.
  7. On September 13, 1994, the complainant was promoted to Epidemiologist I. Stip. #5, C #2, Tr. 16.
  8. The complainant was not required to complete a formal written job application when she was promoted from Connecticut Career Trainee to Epidemiologist I. Tr. 43.
  9. At the time of the complainant’s promotion to Epidemiologist I, she was the only African American within the Immunization Program. C #29 (page one, allegation #2), Tr. 16 and 93.
  10. There are four levels or grades (I, II, III, IV) within the position of Epidemiologist. C ##3 and 28, Tr. 17.
  11. It is common for persons within the position of Epidemiologist to proceed along a career path to the next higher level or grade. C #3, Tr. 17, 130-36, 219.
  12. On or about December 31, 1994, Vincent Sacco became the complainant’s supervisor. Tr. 17 and 129.
  13. The complainant was on maternity leave from April 8, 1995 to October 10, 1995. C ##4 and 7, Tr. 18.
  14. In July of 1995, while the complainant was on maternity leave, an Epidemiologist II position became available due to the departure of Nancy Barrett. Tr. 25 and 136.
  15. On October 4, 1995, Vincent Sacco mailed complainant a performance evaluation at her home. C #7, Tr. 18-21.
  16. Upon her return to work on October 10, 1995, the complainant expressed to Vincent Sacco her interest in the open Epidemiologist II position. Tr. 26-27, 138 and 221.
  17. Vincent Sacco indicated that the Epidemiologist II position was frozen and could not be filled. Tr. 27 and 141.
  18. Between October 1995 and December 1995, the complainant made approximately ten inquiries to Vincent Sacco regarding the open Epidemiologist II position. Tr. 27 and 252.
  19. Vincent Sacco repeatedly responded to the complainant’s inquiries that the open Epidemiologist II position could not be filled due to a hiring freeze. Tr. 27 and 141.
  20. A statewide hiring freeze was in effect since January 5, 1995. C #6, Respondent (R) #P.
  21. The complainant took a second maternity/medical leave from January 1996 to August 30, 1996. Tr. 27-28, 143.
  22. The complainant wanted to be considered for the Epidemiologist II position if the hiring freeze were lifted while she was on maternity/medical leave. To stay informed of the status of the position, the complainant made numerous telephone calls to the respondent between January 1996 and April 17, 1996, specifically: thirty-five calls to 566-5657; two calls to 240-9061; and eighteen calls to a variety of the respondent’s other telephone numbers. Tr. 35, 145, C #8.
  23. Vincent Sacco’s personal business telephone number was 240-9061. The respondent’s general business telephone number was 566-5657. Anyone could be reached through the general number, including Vincent Sacco. C #30, Tr. 246.
  24. Between January and April 1996, Vincent Sacco received numerous telephone calls from the complainant inquiring about the open Epidemiologist II position. C #8, Tr. 35, 145, 226-27, and 248-253.
  25. Between January and March 1996, Sallie Pinkey, Vincent Sacco’s secretary, transferred an unknown number of telephone calls from the complainant to Vincent Sacco. R #V.
  26. Between January and March 1996, Michael Bolduc, an Epidemiologist II also employed by the respondent, received several telephone calls from the complainant inquiring about open positions within the Immunization Program. R #S.
  27. Vincent Sacco repeatedly responded to the complainant’s inquiries about the open Epidemiologist II position in the same manner, "the position is frozen." Tr. 36 and 146-47.
  28. On April 17, 1996, the respondent posted internally an announcement for the position of Epidemiologist II, with a closing date of April 23, 1996. C #10.
  29. Internal postings for vacant positions like that of Epidemiologist II typically are displayed for seven days. Tr. 279-80.
  30. At the time of the April 17, 1996 posting, there was no current eligibility list for the position of Epidemiologist II. Tr. 277-78.
  31. Vincent Sacco did not notify the complainant of the posting (which she could not see because she was home on maternity/medical leave), even though he was aware of her interest in the Epidemiologist II position. Tr. 205-239.
  32. There was no prohibition against Vincent Sacco from contacting the complainant while she was on maternity/medical leave. Tr. 262.
  33. If the complainant had known the position was posted she would have applied for the Epidemiologist II position. C #8, Tr. 51-53 and 110.
  34. On April 15, 1996, Laura Quigley, a White, non-pregnant female, submitted an application for the Epidemiologist II position with a handwritten note to Vincent Sacco attached which read, "Dear Vin- Here you go! Please let me know when you hear anything. Thanks again! Laura." C #32.
  35. Laura Quigley was hired effective June 14, 1996, as a provisional employee pending successful completion of an Epidemiologist II examination. C ## 9, 12, 13.
  36. On May 31, 1996, the complainant visited Vincent Sacco at the respondent’s office to inquire about the Epidemiologist II position. Vincent Sacco told the complainant that the position was still frozen and even if it were to be filled that the complainant would not be suited for it. Tr. 37-38, 110, 147.
  37. On May 31, 1996, Vincent Sacco distributed a flyer announcing the hiring of Laura Quigley as an Epidemiologist II. C #14.
  38. On or about July 16, 1996, the complainant requested permission to attend a training class. Vincent Sacco denied her request. Tr. 180, 256.
  39. On or about August 6, 1996, Laura Quigley took an Epidemiologist II examination and earned a passing score of 73; the other six candidates who took the same examination earned scores ranging from 75 to 93. C #15, R #K.
  40. On August 6, 1998, the complainant earned a score of 80 on an Epidemiologist II examination. C #21.
  41. At the time of Laura Quigley’s hire, the respondent required persons seeking employment in the Epidemiologist II position to have the following experience: "[s]ix (6) years’ experience in conducting epidemiological investigations in a responsible technical or professional capacity" with special experience of one year "interviewing and performing trend analyses at or above the level of Epidemiologist I." C #3.
  42. The complainant met these qualifications based on her education, training and work experience. C ## 21 and 25.
  43. At the time of Laura Quigley’s hire, the respondent’s affirmative action hiring goal for the position of Epidemiologist II was Black male (BM), Black female (BF), Hispanic male (HM) or Hispanic female (HF). C #11.
  44. Vincent Sacco acknowledged that Laura Quigley’s hire did not meet the affirmative action goal set for the position, as she is a White female (WF). C ##12 and 13.
  45. Because she was not hired as an Epidemiologist II and because she was denied an opportunity for training, the complainant filed a complaint with the commission on July 18, 1996 and amended said complaint on May 30, 1997. Record Exhibits ##1 and 2.
  46. Laura Quigley left her position on or about May 5, 1998, to be able to spend more time with her newborn son. Upon learning of Ms. Quigley’s resignation, the complainant reiterated to Vincent Sacco her desire to fill the position of Epidemiologist II. C ##9 and 20, Tr. 184.
  47. The respondent sought funding through a grant application in September of 1998 to refill the Epidemiologist II position for Calendar Year 1999. C #31, Tr. 243-44.
  48. Vincent Sacco told the complainant that he was not filling the position any longer because he was tired of people going out on maternity leave and not coming back. He made this statement in front of his secretary, Sallie Pinkey, and another secretary, Maria Hines. Tr. 50, 53 and 97.
  49. As of the dates of public hearing (May 5-6, 1999), the position of Epidemiologist II most recently held by Laura Quigley had not been filled. The complainant remains employed by the respondent as an Epidemiologist I. C ##2, 17 and 18, Tr. 201.

III.     Standards

Although the federal and state statutes differ, Connecticut courts look to the federal standards in interpreting our anti-discrimination statutes. Wroblewski v. Lexington Gardens, Inc., 188 Conn. 4, 53 (1982). "Although we are not bound by federal interpretation of Title VII provisions, we have often looked to federal employment discrimination law for guidance in enforcing our own anti-discrimination statute. Nevertheless, we have also recognized that, under certain circumstances, federal law defines the beginning and not the end of our approach to the subject." (Internal citations omitted.) State of Connecticut v. Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, 211 Conn. 464, 470 (1989).

To prevail in a Title VII claim, a complaining party must prove discriminatory intent. Intent may be proven by direct or circumstantial evidence. In most cases, a complainant must rely on circumstantial evidence and prove discrimination indirectly by inference. In the present case, both the claim related to discrimination on the basis of sex, as it relates to pregnancy, and the allegation of discrimination based on race/color must rely heavily on circumstantial evidence to prove disparate treatment.

The allocation of proof in such cases was first articulated by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 5 FEP 965 (1973) and later refined in Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 25 FEP 113 (1981) and St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks, 113 S. Ct. 2742, 62 FEP 96 (1993). The relevant requirements in the burden-shifting analysis outlined in this line of cases are as follows: (1) the complainant must establish a prima facie case of discrimination; (2) the employer must articulate a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for its actions; and (3) the complainant must prove that the employer’s reason is in fact a pretext.

IV.     Discussion

    A.    Prima Facie Case

The U.S. Supreme Court outlined the requirements for proving a prima facie case in McDonnell Douglas, supra. A complainant must establish that (1) the complainant belongs to a protected class; (2) that she applied for and was qualified for a job for which the employer was hiring; (3) that, despite her qualifications, she was rejected; and (4) that, after her rejection, the position remained open and the employer sought other qualified candidates. Id.

There is no dispute concerning three of these four requirements. The complainant is African American/Black and was pregnant at the time of the adverse action and therefore belongs to more than one protected class. She was qualified for the position of Epidemiologist II based on her education, training and prior work experience as an Epidemiologist I. She was not hired into the position of Epidemiologist II at the time it became vacant when Nancy Barrett left in July of 1995 or when Laura Quigley left the position in May of 1998. The main crux of the respondent’s argument is that the complainant never actually applied for the position in April of 1996.

Respondent relies solely on the fact that complainant failed to complete a formal written application for the position and therefore fails to meet the second element, that of application, of her prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas test. The four elements of a prima facie case, however, "will not apply identically to all factual scenarios, and therefore represent only a flexible guideline for how a plaintiff may choose to establish a prima facie case." McDonnell Douglas, supra, at 802. Anti-discrimination statutes are meant to be remedial in nature and should be construed broadly. "[T]he McDonnell Douglas elements constitute only a flexible guideline, and no element is ‘essential.’" Lloyd v. WABC-TV and Capital Cities/ABC Inc., 879 F.Sup. 394, 401 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). We must look, therefore, more closely at the facts in the present case to determine whether the complainant has met her burden.

Like most large employers, the State of Connecticut has a formal application process for filling vacancies in state positions. Most of the requirements of the process are outlined in the State Personnel Act, General Statutes § 5-193, et seq. Personnel officers employed by the state further assist in the interpretation and application of these laws. The State Personnel Act is detailed and complex and to further supplement the Act, regulations, policies and practices also exist. These supplements are sometimes negotiated pursuant to contracts with different bargaining units that serve state government and also to comply with state affirmative action requirements.

Effective January 5, 1995, the Governor instituted a hiring freeze statewide on filling vacant positions, including the Epidemiologist II position vacated by Nancy Barrett in July of 1995. Due to this freeze, Vincent Sacco did not fill the Epidemiologist II position right away. The position was cleared to be filled on April 17, 1996.1 Thomas Carson, agency personnel administrator for the respondent, testified that internal postings for vacant positions typically must be displayed for seven days. The announcement for the Epidemiologist II position was displayed from April 17-23, 1996, in conformance with this requirement.

The complainant did not respond to the posted vacancy because she was home on maternity/medical leave and was not able to view the posting. This type of internal posting is not copied to the central office of the Department of Administrative Services; the main way the complainant would have been able to learn about the posting was if she had seen it in the respondent’s main office or satellite office at the State Laboratory. Alternatively, she could have heard about it by word of mouth from someone who had seen it posted in one of those locations. Since there was no current examination list of candidates eligible to be interviewed for such an open position, no one was mailed notice of the vacancy as is customary when there is a current eligibility list.

One of the complainant’s supervisors, Vincent Sacco, knew of the complainant’s interest in the possibility of advancing to an Epidemiologist II position. In January of 1996, during the hiring freeze, the complainant left for a second maternity/medical leave. While she was on this leave, the complainant called the respondent’s office more than 40 times between January and April 17, 1996 inquiring as to the status of the hiring freeze and the Epidemiologist II position. Each time she reached Vincent Sacco, he informed her that the "position was frozen." When she visited Vincent Sacco on May 31, 1996 in person, she was told that Sacco was not filling the position, even though it had been posted more than one month earlier.

Subsequently, upon her return to work on August 30, 1996, the complainant learned that Laura Quigley had been hired provisionally, effective June 14, 1996, pending an open competitive examination, since the prior certification list for the Epidemiologist II position had expired.

A strict reading of the application requirement of the McDonnell Douglas test would unfairly award an employer who knowingly chooses to post a job announcement when an unpopular or undesirable employee may not be able to apply for it, such as during a planned vacation. Clearly, this type of action would subvert the intention of the law.

In the present case, Vincent Sacco did not have control over when the statewide hiring freeze was to be lifted; the freeze was solely within the province of the Governor. Vincent Sacco’s testimony about when he learned about the lifting of the freeze, however, is not credible. He stated that he learned on April 17, 1996 (the initial posting date) that the hiring freeze had been lifted. He testified that he never contacted the successful candidate, Laura Quigley, although she sent in an application for the Epidemiologist II position with a handwritten note attached to it reading "4.15.96 Dear Vin- Here you go! Please let me know when you hear anything. Thanks again! Laura."

His contention flies in the face of the evidence since Vincent Sacco had known Laura Quigley for a number years in a professional capacity and had worked with her on health projects in the city of Waterbury. He also testified that he knew of Laura Quigley’s interest in obtaining a position in state government and on Laura Quigley’s application a box was checked indicating that she found out about this position from another state employee.2 Furthermore, her formal application was sent in to the respondent with the above-mentioned personal handwritten note to Vincent Sacco attached, in essence asking for any assistance possible. When taken together, these facts strongly suggest that Vincent Sacco played a significant role in Laura Quigley’s successful application for the Epidemiologist II position and his resulting failure to consider the complainant for the position.

Vincent Sacco had no legal requirement to notify the complainant while she was on maternity/medical leave that the hiring freeze had been lifted and the position was posted. He certainly was on notice, however, that the complainant wanted the position and he also knew how to reach the complainant at home. Her telephone was in working order (evidenced by the number of outgoing calls she was able to place) and he knew her home address (evidenced by the fact that he mailed a performance evaluation to her at home in October of 1995). It is highly likely that Sacco contacted someone else about the position opening, namely Laura Quigley, but he failed to contact the complainant. Vincent Sacco was under no legal obligation to contact anyone about the vacant position, but once he contacted one potential candidate, and not another, his actions as agent of the respondent smacked of disparate treatment.

In her two previous promotions at the department, the complainant never completed a formal written job application. In the first instance she was promoted from Clerk Typist to Connecticut Careers Trainee to settle a union grievance in September of 1993. The second time she was promoted from Connecticut Careers Trainee to the target class of Epidemiologist I in September of 1994, once again without completing an application. As the court in Lloyd states, "it may be that Defendants did not generally require formal applications where candidates had already directly expressed strong interest in certain positions, or they might have made exceptions for such candidates in the past." Lloyd, supra, at 401. The complainant was doing everything in her power to express her interest in being advanced to an Epidemiologist II and based on her frequent attempts at contact with her supervisor, I find her expectation that someone contact her to be reasonable. Her actions are therefore sufficient to meet the application requirement under McDonnell Douglas.

Furthermore, the respondent asserts that the complainant did not apply because she did not submit a formal written application during the job posting period (April 17-23, 1996). The respondent would be on a stronger footing if it followed its own rules. The application from Laura Quigley, the successful candidate was dated April 15, 1996, clearly outside of the job posting period, but was nonetheless accepted. Respondent must apply its rules equally to all parties; selective enforcement of rules is inherently suspect.

Based on the facts above, I find that although the complainant did not complete a formal written job application, she sufficiently conveyed her interest in the position, should it become available, to the appropriate individual. The complainant therefore has met the burden of presenting a prima facie case.

    B.    Respondent’s Legitimate Non-Discriminatory Reason

Respondent claims that it did not discriminate against the complainant but rather did not hire her because she failed to apply for the job. For the reasons stated above, I find that while complainant did not complete a formal written job application, she nonetheless made sufficient inquiries and attempts to be considered as having applied for the job. Therefore, respondent’s reason is not valid.

  C.    Respondent’s Reason is a Pretext

Furthermore, Vincent Sacco, the agent of the respondent, illuminated some of his motivation as to why complainant may not have been considered for the promotion to the position of Epidemiologist II directly to the complainant. The complainant testified, and the respondent did not rebut the assertion, that Vincent Sacco said "he was tired of people going out on maternity – going out on maternity and not coming back." This comment was made in front of Sallie Pinkey, his secretary, and Maria Hines, another secretary. Based on the events in Vincent Sacco’s unit since his becoming Immunization Program Supervisor at the Department of Public Health, it would be consistent with his experience to utter such a statement. Laura Quigley never returned from her maternity leave and opted instead to resign her state position and look for part-time work so she could spend more time with her newborn son. Also, the complainant herself took two maternity or medical leaves in a two-year period.

Granted, it must be difficult to operate a department when a staff member is out on an extended leave of any type. It is not acceptable, however, or legal, to refuse to promote or provide training to someone on the basis that she may become pregnant in the future. I find his comment to be evidence of overt discrimination against the complainant on the basis of her sex as it relates to pregnancy.

Since the respondent does not offer any legitimate non-discriminatory reason for not promoting her and instead focuses on its argument that the complainant failed to produce evidence sufficient to meet a prima facie case, I will discuss whether the complainant would have been promoted, had she been considered for the position.

 D.     Complainant Would Have Been Hired

There were three candidates who responded to the posting of the Epidemiologist II position in April of 1996. They were Laura Quigley (WF), Homi Metha (Other Male - OM) and Regine Beakes (WF). Many factors are considered when hiring or promoting individuals in state service. Pursuant to the contracts negotiated by the bargaining units, certain groups or classifications of current state employees have rights to promotion over others. These rights are captured in a document familiar to state personnel officers entitled "Order of Filling Vacancies" or known familiarly as a "pecking order." This document outlines which classifications of employees must be afforded the first opportunity to take a position and outlines other hiring scenarios.

The pecking order lists a number of "mandatory" and "optional" steps to be followed in refilling open positions in state government. According to the testimony of Thomas Carson, agency personnel administrator for the respondent, the numerical listing order of mandatory steps governs the job offers that may be made but the optional steps numerical order has no particular meaning. For example, union members recently laid off have superior rights to reemployment over individuals from outside of state service. The optional categories are permissive in nature, in that they may or may not be followed, whereas the mandatory categories must be followed in numerical order. Since both Laura Quigley and the complainant were listed in optional categories, I do not believe the respondent would necessarily have selected the complainant over Laura Quigley solely on this ground.

In addition to these pecking order rights, state employment decisions must take into account affirmative action requirements. Each state agency is required to submit an annual affirmative action plan to the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) outlining hiring/promotion goals for each unit or division within an agency based on sex and race/ethnicity. The plan is effective for each year from April 1 to March 31. The next annual plan is submitted to the CHRO on July 15 and prior to its submission, the general rule is that the goals outlined on the expired year’s prior report are to be followed.

As a state agency, the respondent was required to file an affirmative action plan with the CHRO. The official affirmative action plan covering the April 1996 hiring decisions in the present case was filed with the CHRO in July of 1996. The unofficial plan covering the April 1996 decisions, however, was the prior year’s plan filed in July of 1995. Based on the testimony of Thomasina Carr, affirmative action officer for the respondent, until the July 1996 plan was passed retroactively, the July 1995 plan was the one that would have governed the decision making with respect to the promotion of the complainant.

Under the July 1995 plan, the affirmative action hiring goal for the Epidemiologist II position in question in April of 1996 was either a Black or Hispanic person of either sex. No one from those groups ("goal candidates"), however, formally applied for the position. Since no goal candidate applied for the Epidemiologist II position, Vincent Sacco was required to fill out a state form justifying his recommended hire of a person outside of those groups. His stated reasoning on the form justifying the hiring of Laura Quigley was that "no goal candidates applied." It is my finding that had the complainant been given the opportunity to apply and be considered for promotion to the position of Epidemiologist II, she would have been chosen because she was qualified and met a stated affirmative action goal for the agency at that time.

VI.     Damages

General Statutes § 46a-86 provides that the presiding officer shall "take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the presiding officer will effectuate the purposes of this chapter . . .[including] the hiring or reinstatement of employees, with or without back pay . . . ." The complainant is therefore awarded the following relief to effectuate the purposes of the law:

  1. The respondent shall promote complainant to the position of Epidemiologist II as soon as practicable and until such time shall pay her the difference between the salary between the Epidemiologist I and II positions. For the time period from the present date until December 31, 1999, the difference is $16.68 per day; for the time period beginning on January 1, 2000, the difference will be $17.86 per day, as calculated below, pursuant to the negotiated increases in the union contract.
  2. The respondent shall pay the complainant $11,772.70 as back pay that she would have earned had she been promoted to the position of Epidemiologist II upon her return from maternity/medical leave, calculated as follows:

    As of August 30, 1996
    (date of complainant’s return from maternity/medical leave)

    Epidemiologist I Epidemiologist II
    Annual = $35,090 (step 2) Annual = $38,377 (step 1)
    Bi-weekly = $1,344.40 Bi -weekly = $1,470.30
    Daily = $ 134.40 Daily = $ 147.00

    As of January 1, 1997
    (wage increase per union contract)

    Epidemiologist I Epidemiologist II
    Annual = $36,189 (step 3) Annual = $39,776 (step 2
    Bi-weekly = $ 1386.56 Bi -weekly = $1523.90
    Daily = $ 138.60 Daily = $ 152.40

    As of January 1, 1998
    (wage increase per union contract)

    Epidemiologist I Epidemiologist II
    Annual = $38,036 (step 4) Annual = $41,995 (step 3)
    Bi-weekly = $1457.32 Bi -weekly = $1,609.01
    Daily = $ 145.74 Daily = $ 160.91

    As of January 1, 1999
    (wage increase per union contract)

Epidemiologist I Epidemiologist II
Annual = $39,939 (step 5) Annual = $44,293 (step 4)
Bi-weekly = $1530.23 Bi -weekly = $1,697.05
Daily = $ 153.03 Daily = $ 169.71

    As of January 1, 2000
    (wage increase per union contract)

    Epidemiologist I Epidemiologist II
    Annual = $41,086 (step 6) Annual = $45,746 (step 5
    Bi-weekly = $ 1574.18 Bi -weekly = $1752.73
    Daily = $ 157.42 Daily = $ 175.28

    Difference in salary between Epidemiologist I and II positions from 8/1/96 forward: Epi II Epi I

    1996: 1470.30 - 1344.40 = 125.90 (x 8 pay periods) =1007.20
    1997: 39,776.00 - 36,189.00 = 3,587.00 (full year) =3587.00
    1998: 41,995.00 - 38,036.00 = 3,959.00 (full year) =3959.00
    1999: 1697.05 - 1530.23 = 166.82 (x 13 pay periods) (1/1/99 – 7/9/99)  =2168.66
    169.71(day) - 153.03(day) = 16.68 (x 63 days) (7/12/99-10/6/99) =1050.84
    2000: 175.28(day)- 157.42(day) = 17.86

    Total =$11,772.70

  1. The respondent shall pay simple interest at a rate of 10% on the back pay from August 30, 1996 until the date of this decision, October 6, 1999, totaling $3,654.22 calculated as follows:

    August 30 to December 31, 1996: (124 days @ 3.225 per day) 399.90
    January 1 to December 31, 1997: 1,177.27
    January 1 to December 31, 1998: 1,177.27
    January 1 to October 6, 1999:

    (279 days @ 3.225 per day) 899.78

    Total interest: $3,654.22

  2. The respondent shall not discuss this case in any reference concerning the complainant except with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  3. The respondent shall not engage in any conduct against the complainant or any participant in these proceedings in violation of General Statutes § 46a-60(a)(4).
  4. The respondent shall cease and desist from any further discrimination.

It is so ORDERED.

Dated this ____ day of October at Hartford, CT.

________________

Lara L. Manzione
Presiding Human Rights Referee

C: Pamela Hodge
Robert J. Brothers, Jr., Esq. (Hand delivery)
Thomasina Carr
Peter Brown, Esq.
Raymond P. Pech, Esq., CHRO Deputy Counsel (Hand delivery)
Ann Galer-Pasternak, CHRO Public Hearings Administrator (Hand delivery)

Endnotes:
1   
It is unclear from the record whether the hiring freeze was lifted on this date or whether the respondent received special permission to fill the Epidemiologist II position under one of the exceptions to the freeze as necessary for the health and safety of Connecticut citizens.

2     Since Vincent Sacco is employed by the respondent, the Department of Public Health, he is a state employee.





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