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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Norwich settles employee’s age discrimination suit for $50K

    John Johnson, supervisor of buildings and grounds with Norwich City Public Works, takes a moment to watch the Juneteenth commemoration ceremony on the David Ruggles Freedom Courtyard on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at Norwich City Hall. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Norwich ― The City Council on Monday agreed to pay a public works employee $50,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit he filed after being passed over for a promotion.

    The council voted unanimously following a 30-minute executive session to settle the case filed by John Johnson, supervisor of buildings and grounds at City Hall. Jury selection for the trial had been scheduled for Tuesday in New London Superior Court, according to court records.

    The resolution approved by the council calls for the city to pay one-third of the settlement and the city’s insurance company, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, to pay two-thirds of the settlement.

    In the complaint, Johnson’s attorney, Jacques Parenteau, argued that Johnson, now 66, and a second applicant were passed over for promotion to the position as public works superintendent in the parks and streets division in July 2021 for a younger applicant. The complaint alleged the person selected, Roy Predmore, did not meet the advertised criteria for the position.

    “Defendant hired a substantially younger individual who did not meet the minimum criteria to be hired as the Superintendent in Defendant's Public Works Department,” Parenteau wrote in the complaint, “and failed to offer employment to two individuals also employed by the Public Works Department aged 50 and 64.”

    In its response, the city acknowledged Johnson’s listed work experience and steady progress to positions of higher responsibility in the city Public Works Department but denied that Predmore did not meet the minimum requirements for the position.

    In his complaint, Johnson had sought to receive the promotion and compensation for lost wages and benefits and “non-economic” compensation for loss of reputation and emotional distress.

    Reached by phone Tuesday, Johnson declined to comment on his settlement but said he plans to remain in his position until he retires. He has not set a retirement date.

    c.bessette@theday.com

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