Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ex rel. Pullicino v. Pelham Sloane Inc.
An individual who is discharged may be required to prove she made reasonable attempts to mitigate damages by engaging in a job search and working for other employers. At a hearing in damages, the human rights referee found the following facts. In February 2007, Pelham Sloane Inc. hired Laura Pullicino as a supply chain manager, and she earned $1,114 gross per week. In October 2008, Pullicino was diagnosed with brain abnormalities and a lung mass that required radiation treatment. Pullicino informed Pelham Sloane, which discharged her. Pullicino worked part time, underwent two surgeries and obtained unemployment and Social Security disability benefits. Pullicino filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, alleging that she was discharged because she was diagnosed with cancer, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §46a-60(a)(1). Pelham Sloane was defaulted. Pullicino did not prove she mitigated damages after December 2010. At a hearing in damages, Presiding Human Rights Referee Ellen Bromley ordered the respondent to pay $76,793 as back pay for the period between October 2008 and December 2010, plus interest of 10 percent, and to reimburse the state $44,729 for unemployment benefits. Bromley ordered Pelham Sloane to cease and desist from discriminating on the basis of disability.