Federal Court Judge strikes down ex-East Haven employee FMLA lawsuit

- FILE - East Haven Town Hall. (WTNH)

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Federal District Judge Dominic Squatrito ruled against a former town employee, Francine Carbone, who filed a Family and Medical Leave Act lawsuit against the Town of East Haven, according to East Haven Town Attorney, Joseph Zullo.

In a release today from East Haven Assistant Director of Administration & Management, Zullo explained, “In a decision dated July 21, 2016, Judge Squatrito issued a fifteen page ruling, finding that Ms. Carbone had ‘not established that she suffered an adverse employment action’ and that she had ‘failed to establish a prima facie case of FMLA retaliation.'”

Town management states that in her suit, Carbone claimed that the Town of East Haven retaliated against her and violated the Family and Medical Leave Act by terminating her for exercising her rights to care for a sick family member during the spring and summer of 2014.   In the suit, Carbone claimed that text messages from Former Supervisor Arthur DeSorbo inquiring of her FMLA status and requesting return-to-work information were actually prompted by Mayor Joseph Maturo, who she claimed had sexually harassed her for years.

The town management says Federal District Court Judge Squatrito found that Ms. Carbone had “not come forward with specific evidence that would support a finding that the text messages actually originated with the Mayor.”  In emphasizing the lack of support for Ms. Carbone’s claims, the court noted in its decision that Carbone denied only three of the sixty-six paragraphs contained in the Town’s Rule 56(a) (1) summary judgment statement.

Zullo said, “We are delighted that the federal court has vindicated the Town’s action, upholding the Town’s argument that Ms. Carbone’s claims of interference, wrongdoing, and coercion by both the Town and the Mayor were completely unsupported by the evidence in the record.”

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