WALTERS v. SAFELITE FULFILLMENT, INC. et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 4/30/2021. (tf, )
[Docket No. 60]
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil No. 18-11111(RMB/MJS)
SAFELITE FULFILLMENT, INC., et
SMITH EIBELER, LLC
By: Robert W. Smith, Esq.; Christopher J. Eibeler, Esq.
101 Crawfords Corner Road, Suite 1-105R
Holmdel, New Jersey 07733
Counsel for Plaintiff
PORZIO, BROMBERG & NEWMAN, P.C.
By: Kerri A. Wright, Esq.
100 Southgate Parkway
P.O. Box 1977
Morristown, New Jersey 07962-1997
Counsel for Defendant
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, United States District Judge:
This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Safelite
Fulfillment, Inc.’s (“Defendant” or “Safelite”) Motion for
Summary Judgment. [Docket No. 60]. Plaintiff Nicholas Walters
(“Plaintiff” or “Walters”) brought this action against Defendant
alleging retaliation and associational discrimination/wrongful
discharge in violation of the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et. seq. (“NJLAD”). For the
reasons set forth herein, Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment will be GRANTED.
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff was a Safelite employee from May 2005 until April
2017. [Docket No. 66-1, at ¶¶ 3, 138]. He began his Safelite
career in Connecticut, before transferring to Cherry Hill, NJ
and later, West Chester, PA. [Id. at ¶¶ 4-6]. During his time in
West Chester, Walters also assisted at the Absecon, NJ location,
while its manager was on maternity leave. [Id. at ¶ 7]. In March
2015, Plaintiff transferred to the Hartford, CT market, where he
worked until his termination. [Id. at ¶ 9].
According to the Amended Complaint [Docket No. 30],
Plaintiff alleges that he was terminated in violation of the
NJLAD. Specifically, he argues that he raised objections to
Defendant’s termination and suspension of two Safelite employees
and he was terminated for raising those objections. [See id.].
This dispute largely begins while Plaintiff was working in
West Chester, PA and assisting at the Abescon, NJ location.
Walters contends that, in 2014, he was approached by Safelite
Operation Manager Sambath Lok who offered him the Abescon Store
Manager position. [Docket No. 66-1, at ¶ 7]. Plaintiff asked
about the current store manager, Shelby Klein, who was on
maternity leave. According to Plaintiff, Lok responded that
Safelite would terminate Klein’s employment and that he “didn’t
think women should be managers, because if they get pregnant,
they can take long times off of work and get paid for it.”
[Docket No. 63]. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff claims that he
met with Lok and two other Safelite managers, who reiterated the
desire to fire Klein and replace her with Plaintiff. [Id.]. At
this meeting, Plaintiff allegedly objected to firing Klein,
refused the promotion, and requested a transfer. [Docket No. 661, at ¶ 26]. Defendant approved Plaintiff’s transfer request,
which was finalized in March 2015. [Docket No. 6-1, at ¶ 9].
In addition, Walters argues that he was targeted for his
objection to the suspension and termination of Greg Manning.
[See Docket No. 30]. Manning was an employee in Cherry Hill, NJ,
who worked with Plaintiff before Plaintiff’s 2015 transfer. [See
generally, id. at ¶¶ 64-67]. In August 2016, Manning purportedly
spoke with Plaintiff (now in Connecticut) about his store
manager harassing and discriminating against him due to his
obesity and diabetes. [Id. at ¶ 64]. According to Manning, his
attempts to report this harassment were unsuccessful, and, on
December 2, 2016, he was placed on administrative leave for
violating company policy. [Id. at ¶ 66].
Plaintiff alleges that, upon speaking with Manning, he
elected to investigate the harassment himself. [Id. at ¶ 67]
Eventually, Plaintiff concluded that Manning had done nothing
wrong and reported these findings to management. [Id. at ¶ 69].
Nevertheless, Defendant terminated Manning’s employment five
days after placing him on leave. [Id. at ¶¶ 90-91]. Walters
continued to work for Defendant for about 4 months after
Manning’s termination. [Id. at ¶ 137]. But Plaintiff alleges
that his termination in April 2017 resulted, in part, from his
objections to Manning’s treatment.
Defendant disputes Plaintiff’s allegations and claims that
it terminated his employment due to poor performance. In
September 2015, shortly after his transfer from West Chester,
Defendant promoted Plaintiff from the Assistant Store Manager to
the Store Manager of the West Hartford, CT store. According to
Defendant, the West Hartford store began to experience several
performance deficiencies under Walters’s leadership, which
continued until his termination. [Docket No. 60-1, at ¶ 55].
Specifically, Defendant observed that the West Hartford store
scored poorly in customer satisfaction and overtime
productivity, compared to other Connecticut locations. [Id. at
¶¶ 56-57]. Defendant also contends that Plaintiff’s manager had
to assist Plaintiff in improving his communications and ability
to speak to others respectfully. [Id. at ¶ 61]. Plaintiff’s
management issues allegedly continued into 2017, and the West
Hartford, CT store was consistently the worst performing store
in the market. [Id. at ¶¶ 93-101].
During early 2017, Defendant hired John Turcotte, who would
become Plaintiff’s new direct supervisor. [Docket No. 66-1, at ¶
102]. Shortly thereafter, Turcotte issued Plaintiff a
“Performance Improvement Plan” and a “Personal Development Plan”
allegedly due to both the West Hartford store’s poor performance
and “Plaintiff’s inappropriate conduct.” [Id. at ¶¶ 109, 115].
Neither of these events affected Plaintiff’s role or pay. [Id.
at ¶ 116]. In February 2017, Turcotte requested an outline from
Plaintiff on steps he would take to improve. [Id. at ¶ 120].
Turcotte was allegedly unsatisfied with Plaintiff’s plans, and
continued to coach him on potential improvements. [Docket No.
60-1, at ¶¶ 122-123].
Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s personal and store
performance continued to drop in March 2017, and it then began
the process of terminating his employment. [Id. at ¶¶ 124-28,
134]. Plaintiff was officially terminated on April 10, 2017.
[Docket No. 66-1, at ¶ 137].
Summary judgment shall be granted if “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(a). A fact is “material” only if it might impact the
“outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Gonzalez v. Sec’y
of Dept of Homeland Sec., 678 F.3d 254, 261 (3d Cir. 2012). A
dispute is “genuine” if the evidence would allow a reasonable
jury to find for the nonmoving party. Id.
In determining the existence of a genuine dispute of
material fact, a court’s role is not to weigh the evidence; all
reasonable inferences and doubts should be resolved in favor of
the nonmoving party. Melrose, Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 613
F.3d 380, 387 (3d Cir. 2010). However, a mere “scintilla of
evidence,” without more, will not give rise to a genuine dispute
for trial. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir.
2001). Moreover, a court need not adopt the version of facts
asserted by the nonmoving party if those facts are “utterly
discredited by the record [so] that no reasonable jury” could
believe them. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). In the
face of such evidence, summary judgment is still appropriate
“where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational
trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party.” Walsh v. Krantz,
386 F. App’x 334, 338 (3d Cir. 2010).
The movant has the initial burden of showing through the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions
on file, and any affidavits “that the non-movant has failed to
establish one or more essential elements of its case.”
Connection Training Servs. v. City of Phila., 358 F. App’x 315,
318 (3d Cir. 2009). “If the moving party meets its burden, the
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish that summary
judgment is inappropriate.” Id. In the face of a properly
supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmovant’s burden is
rigorous: it “must point to concrete evidence in the record”;
mere allegations, conclusions, conjecture, and speculation will
not defeat summary judgment. Orsatti v. New Jersey State Police,
71 F.3d 480, 484 (3d Cir. 1995); accord. Jackson v. Danberg, 594
F.3d 210, 227 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Acumed LLC. v. Advanced
Surgical Servs., Inc., 561 F.3d 199, 228 (3d Cir. 2009)
(“[S]peculation and conjecture may not defeat summary
judgment.”). However, “the court need only determine if the
nonmoving party can produce admissible evidence regarding a
disputed issue of material fact at trial”; the evidence does not
need to be in admissible form at the time of summary judgment.
FOP v. City of Camden, 842 F.3d 231, 238 (3d Cir. 2016).
In its Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant contends that
Plaintiff cannot maintain a cause of action under the NJLAD
because Plaintiff was not employed in the state of New Jersey at
the time of his adverse employment action, Plaintiff was not a
resident of New Jersey at that time, and all of the operative
events occurred outside of New Jersey. In response, Plaintiff
argues that the NJLAD is implicated because his termination
resulted, in part, from objections he made to Defendant’s
termination of Klein from Defendant’s Absecon, NJ location,
which he made while living and working in New Jersey. Plaintiff
also contends that the NJLAD applies to his claims because the
NJLAD is not limited to residents of New Jersey, and the facts
of this case warrant application of the NJLAD to the out-ofstate events-- particularly since he objected to Manning’s
termination, who was a New Jersey employee and resident.
As a preliminary matter, however, the Court must begin by
addressing two issues: Plaintiff’s untimely statements of fact,
and Plaintiff’s NJLAD associational discrimination/wrongful
First, Plaintiff failed to timely file a statement of
undisputed material facts and a response to Defendant’s
statement of undisputed material facts. Plaintiff explains that
these documents were inadvertently excluded from the brief in
opposition, and that counsel did not realize they were missing
until Defendant filed its reply brief. [Docket No. 66].
Nevertheless, it still took Plaintiff several working days to
address the missing documents after Defendant’s reply brief was
docketed. By failing to file these documents, the Court could
deem all of the facts in the unanswered statement admitted. See
Local Civ. R. 56.1(a) (“any material fact not disputed shall be
deemed undisputed for purposes of the summary judgment
motion.”). But the Court will not take such action here, because
the late filings do not prejudice Defendant. Instead, the Court
will fully consider Plaintiff’s documents as though timely
In the future, counsel should ensure that all exhibits are
attached to their filings and respond promptly to errors or
Second, Plaintiff did not address his NJLAD associational
discrimination/wrongful discharge claims in his summary judgment
briefing. There are two claims at issue in this case: NJLAD
retaliation and NJLAD associational discrimination/wrongful
discharge. Defendant moved for summary judgment on both counts,
but Plaintiff addressed only NJLAD retaliation. Indeed, nearly
one-third of Defendant’s brief argues why summary judgment is
appropriate on Plaintiff’s associational discrimination claim,
yet Plaintiff did not address this claim. When a party’s
“opposition brief contains no legal or factual argument opposing
summary judgment on [certain] counts,” the Court may deem “these
claims abandoned.” Simon v. Shore Cab, LLC, No. 13-6290
(FLW)(LHG), 2016 WL 1059267, at *8 (D.N.J. Mar. 17, 2016); see
also Damiano v. Sony Music Ent., Inc., 975 F. Supp. 623, 637
(D.N.J. 1996) (“Claims in litigation are not fungible items to
be abandoned and revived at will, rendering plaintiff's theories
a moving target. These claims will not now be considered when
plaintiff had every opportunity to make these arguments in
response to defendants' motion for summary judgment but chose
not to.”). Thus, Plaintiff’s associational discrimination/
wrongful discharge claims are abandoned, and the Court will now
consider only Plaintiff’s retaliation claims.
Under the NJLAD, retaliation requires a Plaintiff to show
(1) that he engaged in a protected activity known to his
employer, (2) that he was subjected to an adverse employment
decision, and (3) a causal connection between his protected
activity and the adverse employment action. Battaglia v. United
Parcel Serv., Inc., 214 N.J. 518, 547 (2013). In addition, a
plaintiff cannot recover on a retaliation claim, unless he also
shows “that the original complaint was both reasonable and made
in good faith.” Id.
Plaintiff is not required to prove that he is a member of a
protected class, see Cottrell v. Rowan Univ., 786 F. Supp. 2d
851, 858 (D.N.J. 2011), but he must allege actual
discrimination. Dunkley v. S. Coraluzzo Petroleum Transporters,
437 N.J. Super. 366, 377(App. Div. 2014). Stated differently, a
“general complaint of unfair treatment” is insufficient. Barber
v. CSX Distrib. Servs., 68 F.3d 694, 702 (3d Cir.l995).
Here, the parties largely contest the causal connection
factor. A Plaintiff can establish a causal connection in
numerous ways. Circumstantial evidence, often in the form of
temporal proximity or a “pattern of antagonism,” is sufficient
to establish a causal connection. Kachmar v. SunGard Data Sys.,
Inc., 109 F.3d 173, 177 (3d Cir. 1997). But these arguments are
not exclusive, and the Court must instead look at the whole body
of evidence to infer a causal link. Id.
Plaintiff identifies two protected actions that he argues
led to his termination: his objections to the termination and
mistreatment of Shelby Klein and Greg Manning, respectively. The
Court will now consider each in turn.
A. Plaintiff’s objections to Klein’s termination
Plaintiff began assisting at the Absecon, NJ location in
2014, because that store’s manager, Shelby Klein, took maternity
leave. [[Docket No. 66-1, at ¶¶ 6-7]. Plaintiff alleges that,
prior to his March 2015 transfer to Connecticut, he was offered
Klein’s position in Absecon, because Defendant intended to fire
Klein for taking maternity leave. Plaintiff claims that he
objected to this termination, which later led to his own
As discussed more thoroughly below, the relationship
between Plaintiff and the state of New Jersey, for NJLAD
purposes, in tenuous. Before Plaintiff amended his complaint to
include allegations that his termination resulted, in part, from
his objections to Klein’s termination, the Court dismissed the
Complaint. [See Docket Nos. 28 and 29]. The Court only permitted
Plaintiff’s claims to move forward after he alleged that he
engaged in protected activity while living and working in New
Jersey. [See Docket Nos. 42 and 43]. But these additional
allegations do not guarantee that Plaintiff’s claims survive
Plaintiff attempts to establish a causal connection between
his objections and his subsequent termination in two ways.
First, he argues that a causal connection can be established by
temporal proximity. This is correct, but it is undisputed that
Plaintiff was not terminated, and faced no other adverse
employment action, for more than two years after raising his
objections to Klein’s termination. Recognizing this, Plaintiff
argues that “employers, are aware of temporal proximity as a
factor in the consideration of causation,” so they “lay in wait
until sufficient time has passed or until such a time has come
that the employer is able to formulate a reason for
termination.” [Docket No. 63]. In other words, Plaintiff’s
argument is that the proof of temporal proximity is,
paradoxically, the absence of temporal proximity. This is
Second, he concludes that he suffered a pattern of
antagonism from Defendant. Although the Court does not weigh the
evidence, it must determine whether the record could lead a
rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party. See
Walsh, 386 F. App’x at 338. Here, Plaintiff identifies no
evidence establishing antagonism resulting from his complaints
about Klein’s termination. The record shows that Plaintiff’s
post-objection transfer request was granted [Docket No. 66-1, at
¶ 9], he received positive performance evaluations in April 2015
and January 2016 [Id. at ¶¶ 43 and 47], and he was promoted to
the Store Manager of the West Hartford Store in September 2015
[Id. at ¶ 45]. Moreover, Plaintiff has not provided any
description of antagonism that he suffered. In contrast, he
acknowledges that Defendant took no purported retaliation for
years. [See Docket No. 63, at 8] (“Plaintiff did not suffer a
discrete act of retaliation until in or about late 2016, early
2017, when Safelite made the decision to terminate his
employment.”). Thus, Plaintiff has provided no evidence of a
pattern of antagonism that could allow a rational trier of fact
to find that Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff for his
objection to Klein’s termination.
B. Plaintiff’s objections to Manning’s treatment
Unlike Plaintiff’s claims regarding his objections to
Klein’s termination, his objections to Manning’s suspension and
termination have nearly no connection to the state of New
Jersey. Both Plaintiff’s purported protected activity and his
adverse employment action occurred while he was living and
working in Connecticut. Evidently, the only connection with New
Jersey is the fact that Manning was employed in Defendant’s
Cherry Hill, NJ location at the time he was suspended and
terminated. Nevertheless, Plaintiff argues that NJLAD
Retaliation is an appropriate cause of action. In response,
Defendant argues that the NJLAD is inapplicable and Plaintiff
should have asserted a claim under a similar Connecticut law.
This Court applies New Jersey’s choice-of-law rules.
Fairfax Fin. Holdings Ltd. v. S.A.C. Capital Mgmt., LLC, 450
N.J. Super. 1, 36 (App. Div. 2017) (“[W]hen New Jersey is the
forum state, its choice-of-law rules control.”). In Calabotta v.
Phibro Animal Health Corp., 460 N.J. Super. 38 (App. Div. 2019),
the New Jersey Superior Court established that an out-of-state
Plaintiff may be able to assert an NJLAD claim in some, limited
circumstances. The Court must first “determine whether an actual
conflict of laws exists” by examining “the substance of the
potentially applicable laws to determine whether there is a
distinction between them.” Id. at 54 (internal quotation marks
omitted). A conflict occurs when “when the application of one or
another state's law may alter the outcome of the case.” In re
Accutane Litig., 235 N.J. 229, 254 (2018). An actual conflict
exists when, for example, the claims have different statutes of
limitation, and one has lapsed. See McCarrell v. Hoffmann-La
Roche, Inc., 227 N.J. 569, 584 (2017). (“When a complaint is
timely filed within one state's statute of limitations but is
filed outside another state's, then a true conflict [of laws] is
present.”) If no conflict is present, the Court applies the law
of the forum. Id.
If New Jersey law conflicts with the out of state law, the
Court must “apply the choice-of-law principles described in the
Second Restatement [of Conflicts of Laws], particularly sections
6, 145, and 146.” Calabotta, 460 N.J. Super. at 54-55.
Ordinarily, this analysis begins by determining whether New
Jersey Legislature has intended the relevant law to apply to any
case where a New Jersey court has jurisdiction. Fairfax, 450
N.J. Super. at 43. In the NJLAD context, however, New Jersey
Courts have already held that there is no discernable
legislative intent, and that Courts should determine whether New
Jersey has “the most significant relationship” with the dispute.
Calabotta, 460 N.J. Super. at 55.
The state with the most significant relationship is
presumed to be the state where the injury occurred. Id. at 56.
But this presumption can be overcome. Sections 6 and 145 of the
Restatement (Second) of Conflicts of Laws each provide a list of
factors for Courts to consider.
Section 6 identifies seven, non-exclusive factors that
courts must address when deciding which state’s law applies:
(a) the needs of the interstate and international
(b) the relevant policies of the forum,
(c) the relevant policies of other interested
states and the relative interests of those states
in the determination of the particular issue,
(d) the protection of justified expectations,
(e) the basic policies underlying the particular
field of law,
(f) certainty, predictability and uniformity of
(g) ease in the determination and application of
the law to be applied.
Second Restatement § 6(2). In turn, Section 145 provides four
(a) the place where the injury occurred,
(b) the place where the conduct causing the injury
(c) the domicil[e], residence, nationality, place
of incorporation and place of business of the
(d) the place where the relationship, if any,
between the parties is centered.
Second Restatement § 145(2).
In considering the § 145 factors, the Court does not apply
a strictly quantitative analysis. Instead, it must assess the
factors “in terms of the guiding touchstones of the [Section 6
factors].” Fairfax, 450 N.J. Super. at 51. Moreover, “the
contacts are to be evaluated according to their relative
importance with respect to the particular issue.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted).
Here, the two relevant state laws are the NJLAD and the
Connecticut Human Rights and Opportunity Act (“CHROA”). The
NJLAD states that:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice,
or, as the case may be, an unlawful
discrimination . . . For any person to take
reprisals against any person because that
person has opposed any practices or acts
forbidden under this act or because that
person has filed a complaint, testified or
assisted in any proceeding under this act or
to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere
with any person in the exercise or enjoyment
of, or on account of that person having aided
or encouraged any other person in the exercise
or enjoyment of, any right granted or
protected by this act.
N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(d). In contrast, the CHROA provides:
It shall be a discriminatory practice in
violation of this section . . . For any person,
employer, labor organization or employment
agency to discharge, expel or otherwise
discriminate against any person because such
employment practice or because such person has
filed a complaint or testified or assisted in
any proceeding under section 46a-82, 46a-83 or
CHROA § 46a-60(b)(4).
Despite the apparent similarities between the two statutes,
the Court finds that an actual conflict exists. Unlike the
NJLAD, the CHROA includes a unique administrative exhaustion
requirement. Specifically, CHROA requires the party who alleges
discrimination to first file a claim with a state commission
before bringing an action in Court. § 46a-82. The Complainant
only has 180 days “after the alleged act of discrimination” to
file this complaint. Id. Moreover, § 46a-102 also establishes
that the statute of limitations for a discriminatory employment
action is two years from the date they filed a complaint with
the commission. Although the NJLAD has a two-year statute of
limitations as well, the triggering event is very different.
In effect, this means that when Plaintiff filed this case
on June 27, 2018, he was unable to file a claim under the CHROA
due to his failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The
statute of limitations to file a complaint with the Connecticut
State Commission expired on or about October 9, 2017-- 180 days
after his termination. Since Plaintiff never filed a complaint
with the Connecticut Commission, and more than 180 days had
passed since his alleged act of discrimination, any CHROA claims
are now time-barred. This is not true with the NJLAD. Thus,
there is a conflict of law here. See McCarrell, 227 N.J. at 584.
The Court must now turn to Sections 6(2), 145, and 146 of
the Restatement (Second) of Conflicts of Laws. In reviewing
those considerations, the Court finds that Connecticut is the
state with the most significant relationship to Plaintiff’s
In Calabotta, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate
Division, held that “needs of the interstate . . . systems”-the first Section 6(2) factor--“are generally best served by
applying the law of the state where a job opening will be
filled.” 460 N.J. Super at 70. The Court reached this
conclusion, in part, because it recognized that “the ‘needs’ of
the system favor . . . uniformity in a hiring context.” Id.
Applying that same principle here, the needs of the interstate
systems are best served by applying the law of the state where a
plaintiff works and where relevant employment decisions are
made. As in Calabotta, it would be “unwieldy” for an employer’s
termination decisions to be governed by the law of the state of
each employee’s choosing, rather than the state where that
employee is based. Here, Plaintiff worked and suffered an
adverse employment action in Connecticut. Thus, the first
Section 6(2) factor favors applying Connecticut law.
Similarly, the Calabotta Court held that the next two
Section 6(2) factors-- the relevant policies of the forum and
the relevant policies of other interested states-- are “fairly
accommodated by applying local law to an employer’s conduct in
filling a job application.” Id. This Court identifies no reason
to limit that finding to an employer’s hiring decisions, to the
exclusion of their firing decisions. Accordingly, these two
factors also favor Connecticut law.
The next Section 6(2) factor, the protection of justified
expectations, supports application of Connecticut law as well.
Absent some specific agreement to the contrary, no reasonable
employee could expect that New Jersey law would govern disputes
with their employer when (1) that employee is based in
Connecticut; (2) their employer is incorporated in Delaware; and
(3) their employer has a principal place of business in Ohio.
Therefore, this factor disfavors the application of New Jersey
When considering the fifth Section 6(2) factor-- the basic
policies underlying the particular field of law-- the Calabotta
Court held that the “‘basic policies’ underlying
antidiscrimination laws favor applying the NJLAD to the hiring
of workers who will be employed in [New Jersey].” Id. at 71.
This explanation applies equally in the termination of workers.
Thus, the Court finds that the “basic policies underlying
antidiscrimination laws” favors applying the CHROA to the firing
of workers employed in Connecticut. At the very least, this
factor simply does not favor applying the NJLAD to the firing of
workers employed in Connecticut.
For similar reasons, “certainty, predictability, and
uniformity of result, under Section 6(2)(f), and the “ease in
the determination and application of the law to be applied,” per
Section 6(2)(e), are best served by applying the law of the
state where a person is employed. Thus, in considering all the
Section 6(2) factors, the Court finds that Connecticut law
should apply to Plaintiff’s claims.
Finally, the Section 145 factors also favor the application
of Connecticut law. It is undisputed that Connecticut is the
location of both the purported injury and the place where the
conduct occurred that caused that injury. Furthermore, the § 145
factor concerning the domicile, residence, nationality, place of
incorporation and place of business of the parties, certainly
does not support applying New Jersey law. Defendant is a
Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Ohio.
Plaintiff is a Connecticut resident, who worked at one of
Defendant’s Connecticut locations. This simply does not support
the application of New Jersey law. Moreover, Plaintiff’s
relationship with Defendant, at the time of his termination, was
centered in Connecticut, thus satisfying the Court that § 145
supports the application of the CHROA, and not the NJLAD, to
Accordingly, the relevant factors in the Restatement
(Second) of Conflicts of Laws supports the application of
Connecticut law to Plaintiff’s dispute. Thus, the NJLAD is
inapplicable to Walters’ claims that he was retaliated against
for his objections to Manning’s suspension and termination.
Because Plaintiff failed to satisfy the administrative
exhaustion requirements of the CHROA, and is now time-barred
from doing so, Defendant is entitled to summary judgment.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment is GRANTED. An appropriate Order accompanies this
DATE: April 30, 2021
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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