Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise v. Covino
Although a worker who accumulates eight points for absenteeism within one year can be discharged, the Board of Review may reinstate the worker, if there are mitigating circumstances. The plaintiff, the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise hired the defendant, Nicole Covino. Allegedly, Covino often was late or absent from work, because she was the primary caregiver for a grandparent who awaited an organ transplant. In September 2012, the plaintiff employer discharged Covino, because she accumulated 8.5 points for absences or tardiness within one year. The Board of Review reinstated Covino without back pay, because there were mitigating circumstances, as a result of her grandmother's illness. Ruling on an issue of apparent first impression on whether the Board of Review possesses the power to decide when there are mitigating circumstances, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court affirmed the decision to reinstate Covino. The defendant's service as the primary caretaker for her grandmother, who was extremely ill, was an unusual family difficulty that qualified as a mitigating circumstance.