Perez v. Connecticut Department of Correction
A plaintiff who pursues administrative remedies from a state agency may be required to file a complaint within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory conduct or 30 days from the end of the state administrative matter, whichever is earlier, pursuant to 42 United States Code §2000e-5(e)(1). In 2006, the Department of Correction hired the plaintiff, Valencia Perez, as a parole officer aide. In 2008, Perez, who has a bachelor's degree, requested a promotion to parole officer I. Allegedly, Perez was informed that she lacked enough experience in case management, because the job requires a minimum of six years. Perez renewed her application in 2010 and 2011. Perez filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities against the Department of Correction, then amended the complaint, to include the Department of Administrative Services, because Perez was not included on an examination list in 2009. Perez sued, alleging that she was denied the promotion because of discrimination on the basis of race, and that Caucasian workers with less experience and no college degrees won promotions. The defendants moved to dismiss. The court granted the defense motion, to the extent that Perez sued Michael Cosgrove, a human resources consultant at the Department of Administrative Services, in his official capacity. Connecticut has not waived its immunity for §1983 suits against state officials. Perez's complaint against Michael Cosgrove survived, to the extent she sued Cosgrove in his individual capacity. The court also granted the defendants' motion to dismiss Perez's Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Acts claims against the Department of Correction and the Department of Administrative Services on the basis of immunity. The State of Connecticut has not waived its immunity to suit in U.S. District Court on CFEPA counts. Perez failed to exhaust administrative remedies with respect to her Title VII count against the Department of Administrative Services. It was not filed timely, within 300 days, and it did not reasonably relate back to a timely count against the Department of Correction. Perez's Title VII count against the Department of Correction and her §1983 count against Michael Cosgrove in his individual capacity survived.