Dechio v. Sharp Transit LLC
Connecticut General Statutes §31-51hh provides, "No employer may request or require reimbursement from an employee for any loss or shortage incurred in the course of the employer's business as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of a customer." Allegedly, the plaintiff truck driver, Paul Dechio, made a delivery in February 2011 to a location that had not been properly plowed, and his truck collided with another vehicle. Dechio's employer, the defendant, Sharp Transit LLC, allegedly informed Dechio that he would be discharged, unless he paid for any damages from the February 2011, motor-vehicle accident. Dechio resigned and sued the defendant employer, alleging he was constructively discharged, in violation of public policy in C.G.S. §31-51hh. The defendant employer objected that C.G.S. §31-51hh did not apply, because the statute was designed to protect waiters and waitresses who may otherwise be held accountable by a restaurant, when a customer fails to pay. "[C]onstruing the facts alleged in the complaint in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party," wrote the court, "the alleged personnel decision violated §31-51hh." The court added, "Similar to a waitress who is required to pay for a customer's unpaid meal, the plaintiff was allegedly required to pay for damages incurred as a result of a customer's failure to maintain a parking lot." The court denied the defendant employer's motion to strike.