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State of Connecticut v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, No. 18749 (August 6, 2013)

Articles Discussing Case:

Connecticut Public Policy Supports, and in Some Cases, Requires, Termination of Workplace Harassers

Ogletree Deakins • August 16, 2013
State of Connecticut v. AFSCME, Council 4, Local 391, No. 18749 (August 6, 2013): The Connecticut Supreme Court recently upheld the reversal of an arbitrator’s decision to reinstate an employee whose employment was terminated for sexually harassing a coworker. The court determined that the arbitrator’s ruling for reinstatement was a violation of “clear, well-defined, and dominant” public policy against sexual harassment in Connecticut—one of the few bases upon which a court may overturn an arbitration decision. The court, quoting a Connecticut appellate court case, noted that the relevant inquiry was whether the employee’s misconduct was “so egregious that it requires nothing less than termination of the [worker’s] employment so as not to violate public policy.” While this decision arose in the context of an employer challenging an arbitrator’s ruling for reinstatement of an employee under a collective bargaining agreement, the court’s decision could potentially have a greater impact given the broad language that the court used in the opinion.