State Fair Employment Practices Act Does Not Authorize Punitive Damages

On December 30, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled, in Tomick v. UPS, Inc., that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) does not authorize the award of punitive damages. The underlying litigation involved a disability discrimination claim of a package delivery driver who was terminated after a dispute over a work-related injury and what UPS claimed was “workplace violence.” A jury found for the driver and awarded $300,000 for negligent infliction of emotional distress, $100,000 for a violation of the state drug-testing law, and $100,000 for disability discrimination, in addition to punitive damages. On appeal, the appellate court agreed with the trial court, which had set aside the jury’s award of punitive damages. The state supreme court affirmed, concluding that punitive damages are not an available remedy under CFEPA § 46a-104.10.

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