Kisala v. Malecky
In a whistleblower retaliation complaint, allegations that a supervisor threatened the plaintiff with receipt of a poor evaluation and discharge can qualify as a threat of "adverse personnel action." In May 2012, the plaintiff, Nsonsa Kisala, a health program associate, allegedly complained to the Auditors of Public Accounts about "mismanagement" at the Department of Public Health. In response, in August 2012 a manager allegedly counseled Kisala about his work and threatened that he would receive a poor work evaluation and be discharged. Kisala filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint. A state hearing referee concluded that Kisala failed to adequately allege adverse employment action. Kisala appealed the decision to dismiss his whistleblower complaint. "[T]he statute," wrote the court, "does not require that a plaintiff plead and prove that an adverse personnel action was actually taken against him or her but merely requires that such action be threatened." Here, the plaintiff's whistleblower retaliation complaint adequately alleged that a manager at the Department of Public Health threatened that the plaintiff would receive a poor evaluation and that the plaintiff would be discharged. This qualified as a threat of "adverse personnel action" pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §4-61dd.