Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CAPRUSO v. HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP

April 9, 2003

LISA CAPRUSO, PLAINTIFF
v.
HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP, INC., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff Lisa Capruso commenced this action against Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. ("Hartford"), alleging discrimination on the basis of her gender and her status as a mother, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1), the New York State Equal Pay Law, N.Y.S. Labor Law § 194(1), New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law § 296 ("NYSHRL"), and New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. Admin. Code § 8-1-1 et seq. ("NYCHRL").*fn1 Defendant now moves for summary judgment on all of plaintiff's claims pursuant to Rule 56, F.R.Civ.P.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are undisputed, unless otherwise stated. Lisa Capruso was hired by Hartford in November, 1992 as an Associate Staff Attorney for its New York Office. (Pl.'s 56(1)(b) ¶ 14.) She was promoted to Staff Attorney in 1993. (Id. at ¶ 15.) In 1995, she was reclassified as Staff Attorney II (a higher grade and title), a position she held until she resigned in April of 2000. (Id. at ¶¶ 16-17.)

In March, 1996, Capruso gave birth to her first child. She took time off pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act. (Id. at ¶ 21.) Plaintiff returned from maternity leave in August 1996, and worked full time until February, 1998, when she gave birth to her second child and took a second maternity leave. (Id. at ¶¶ 36, 42.)

Plaintiff returned from her second maternity leave in August, 1998, this time on a part time basis pursuant to an approved "Flexible Work Arrangement" ("FWA").*fn2 (Id. at ¶¶ 44, 45.) She began to work three days a week, eight hours per day, with limited duties being performed from home, at 65% of her full time salary. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 30.) In the summer of 1999, in anticipation of her older child starting school, her schedule was changed to four days a week from 8:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., plus two hours of work at home on the fifth day, at the same salary. (Id. at ¶ 35.) Capruso continued to work under this Flexible Work Arrangement until her resignation in April, 2000. (Id. at ¶ 44.)

There is no Hartford policy that specifies the impact of a Flexible Work Arrangement upon an employee's eligibility for, or entitlement to, promotion. (Id. at ¶ 16.) The FWA Program materials make no mention of promotion. (Id.)

According to Hartford's job descriptions, Capruso became potentially eligible for promotion to Senior Staff Attorney in November, 1997, after attaining five years of experience.*fn3 (Def's 56.1 ¶ 39.) Hartford typically offered promotions during the month of April, however in April, 1998, Capruso was on maternity leave for her second child and was not offered a promotion. (Id. at ¶¶ 19, 41.)

Plaintiff states that when she discussed returning to work in July, 1998 with Jane Tutoki, then the Managing Attorney for the New York Office (a woman with no children), Capruso advised Tutoki that she had never been promoted to Senior Staff Attorney. (Id. at ¶ 42.) Tutoki did not respond. (Id.) In early 1999, Capruso discussed her desire for a promotion with Diane Goldstick, then Assistant Managing Attorney of the New York Office (a woman with children). (Id. at ¶ 43; Pl.'s 56(1)(b) ¶ 39.) Goldstick spoke with Tutoki, and Tutoki responded, in essence, "We don't have to give her any more money, where is she going to go?" (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 43.) Plaintiff believed that Tutoki was basing her decision not to promote her on her part time status due to her participation in the FWA Program. (Pl.'s Dep. at 151.)

In August, 1999, Rachelle Cohen, a woman with no children, replaced Tutoki as Managing Attorney. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 48.) According to Capruso, in October or November of 1999, Capruso requested a promotion to Senior Staff Attorney either immediately or at the next annual review period in April, 2000.*fn4 (Id.) Cohen denied the request, stating "I cannot promote you, you work part time." (Id.) Diane Goldstick also approached Cohen to discuss a promotion for Capruso and Cohen responded that Capruso was "not eligible" for promotion because she was not working a full time schedule. (Pl.'s 56(1)(b) ¶ 74.)

In late March or early April of 2000, there was confusion about the scheduling of a court appearance: Capruso thought a hearing had been scheduled for the morning, and it turned out that it was scheduled for the afternoon. (Pl.'s Dep. at 166-170.) Capruso tried to get someone to cover for her, but nobody could or would, and she ultimately handled the matter herself. (Id.) After this incident Cohen was angry with Capruso and told Capruso that her part time schedule wasn't working and "she didn't think this was a good thing to have for the office as a whole." (Id.) Capruso responded that "it was working, it had been working." (Id.)

Capruso resigned approximately 2 weeks after this incident, in April, 2000. In a discussion between Cohen and Capruso that occurred after Capruso's resignation, Cohen again stated that she could not promote Capruso because she worked part time. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 49.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a Summons and Complaint in New York State Supreme Court on April 6, 2001. Plaintiff's complaint did not allege that a charge had been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, nor is there evidence in the record that such a filing occurred. Plaintiff alleged that she satisfied all administrative prerequisites to her municipal causes of action, and with regard to her state law claims, there are no administrative prerequisites. N.Y. Exec. Law, ยง 297(9) (McKinney's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.