Norwich reaches settlement with former city employee

Norwich — A former city employee who filed a union grievance and two discrimination complaints with state and federal agencies has reached a settlement with the city for $30,000 and a one-year enrollment in the city’s health insurance plan.

The City Council unanimously approved the settlement late Monday following an executive session discussion. City Manager John Salomone released a signed copy of the settlement Wednesday.

The eight-page agreement among former Public Works Department employee Suzanne Cicarelli, her AFSCME Local 2422 and the city calls for the city to pay Cicarelli $30,000 — $25,000 immediately and $5,000 within two weeks, with $2,919.84 of the final payment diverted to cover her health insurance premium to continue her enrollment in the city’s health care plan for up to 12 months. The city’s insurance carrier made the initial $25,000 payment, while the city is responsible for the final $5,000 payment, according to the settlement. The city also will pay for the city’s portion of her health care coverage for up to 12 months.

The settlement document does not explain Cicarelli’s specific allegations against the city. Her union filed a grievance on April 9 contesting her termination after 15 years of working for the city. The grievance was pending before the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration.

Cicarelli also had filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities “alleging certain discriminatory conduct by the city,” the settlement stated. She also filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The settlement calls for Cicarelli to withdraw the grievance and the two pending complaints.

The city had appealed Cicarelli’s application for unemployment compensation following her termination, and the settlement calls for the city to withdraw that appeal. Her application for unemployment compensation benefits remains pending before the state Department of Labor, which has the jurisdiction to determine whether she is eligible, the settlement stated.

Cicarelli could not be reached for comment. City Manager Salomone, Mayor Peter Nystrom, Local 2422 union President Angelo Callis and AFSCME union spokesman Larry Dorman all cited the nondisclosure agreement in the settlement in declining to comment on any aspect of the settlement.

“We represent the employee in question, and we have reached a settlement that is fair and beneficial to all parties,” Dorman said. “We cannot discuss the matter any further due to the nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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