Enhanced Sean Spell Video / Malloy & Bronin Chase Islanders / DMHAS Makes Blacks History

by David Samuels


This column appears in the February 9 – 16 edition of the Hartford News.



Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio



Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! http://www.sometroradio.com/  Next show: February 21. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/





Community Party Radio Podcasts




Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio/



Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!


The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440






Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.







Trayvon Martin Act



The bill has been officially filed. See this link for info on contacting Gov. Malloy, and the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to pass the Trayvon Martin Act racial profiling legislation!






Mary Sanders is the author of the Community Party’s bill language.




Community Update



HARTFORD RESIDENTS: Calls/emails are needed NOW to Hartford City Council members. Mayor Luke Bronin is attempting to remove Ricardo Torres and other members of the Hartford Civilian Police Review Board, in retaliation for the Board requesting the names of the 19 Hartford Police officers who refused to cooperate with the investigation of former HPD Sgt. Sean Spell. Spell faces an assault charge, after a West Hartford Police dashboard camera caught him kicking Emilio Diaz in the head following a car chase last June. Bronin wants to stack the Board with his cronies, and police stooges. Torres is the ONLY Board member with law enforcement training – Bronin’s leading candidate lists experience as a cosmetologist. Tell the councilmembers to stop this farce. Their contact info is available here. http://www.hartford.gov/council



Enhanced video of the June 4 assault, courtesy of Ed Peruta of American News, shows several officers kicking Diaz. A voice on the tape can be heard reminding officers that cameras are taping the arrest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpfoOMhyTmE





Here We Go Again



“If every sports team in Chicago were to suddenly disappear, the impact on the Chicago economy would be a fraction of 1 percent. A baseball team has about the same impact on a community as a midsize department store.” ~  Economist Michael Leeds



Fresh off of the Hartford baseball stadium debacle, Gov. Dan Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin are pursuing another professional sports team. Malloy and Bronin have sent a letter to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, who are currently playing in Brooklyn but face eviction from the Barclays Center following the 2018-19 season, due to poor attendance and other problems. Bronin and Malloy have offered the Islanders use of the XL Center. While Bronin goes town to town hat in hand, talking about the city’s dire fiscal condition, and Malloy blathers on about the state’s “new economic reality” and “living within our means” as both cut funding for vital human services and attack public sector workers (largest employer of Blacks and women), they’re prepared to throw $250 million at the XL Center, in order to bring the arena up to NHL standards. Malloy has added the cost of the renovation to his state budget proposal that was released Wednesday. What could possibly go wrong? Studies show that professional sports teams do not benefit the local economy, and in some cases hurt the economy. http://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/19/business/are-pro-sports-teams-economic-winners-cities



Team owners and elected officials perpetuate the myth of sports teams boosting local economies, in order to sell taxpayers on paying the cost. Sports teams are status symbols for politicians, like having a Mercedes Benz in your driveway while you’re behind on your mortgage payments.



Policy Watch: Safe Work Environment Act Report



A Freedom of Information request filed by me and my Connecticut Valley Hospital co-worker John Hollis revealed that CVH disproportionately fires and disciplines Black workers, and discriminates against Blacks in terms of wages and employment: CVH fires Black employees 42% more often than whites. Overall Blacks are terminated at a rate of 70%, compared to just 22% for whites. Blacks are subjected to disciplinary action at a rate of 10% more than other workers. 70% of the CVH employees who make $120,000 per year or more are white, only 3% are Black. CVH is a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services facility; DMHAS is being sued by employee Lois Craig, a Black woman, for subjecting her to a hostile work environment, based on her race. Robert Storace of the Connecticut Law Tribune reports, “The lawsuit seeks to force the agency to pay for Lois Craig’s indefinite medical leave for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, high blood pressure and insomnia she suffers as a result of the hostile work environment.” http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202776108003/DMHAS-Accused-of-Targeting-Black-Unionized-Employee  The Department of Health and Human Services says that workplace bullying is the equivalent of domestic violence. It’s no surprise that President Donald Trump’s house Negro Ben Carson, who routinely disparaged Black people during his run for president and made a Holocaust joke in 2009, was selected to be the centerpiece of the CVH Black History Month display in my building. Carson’s photo was taken down last Friday.



This week we’ll share a post from the Undercover Lawyer website.  http://www.undercoverlawyer.com/   The Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act removes hurdles for workers seeking a remedy to abusive workplace conduct.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act-2/



What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment?




Lenora’s Journey Through a Hostile Workplace


In two previous articles a 52 year old nurse named Lenora was harassed and abused by her new (younger) boss and former co-worker Michelle. Feeling distressed and sick, Lenora stayed home from work and called her brother in law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt.

Although he usually works on the side of the employers, he wanted to help his family member. Talking on the phone and over lunch Curt explained the difference between legal and illegal hostile work environments, and explained why the concept of “employment at will” is so crucial to fighting back against a bullying boss.

Lenora wants to turn her boss Michelle into the hospital’s human resources department for “unfairly” attacking Lenora at work. Curt is trying to persuade Lenora to let go of the idea of “unfairness”, because U.S. employment law does not require supervisors to be fair.

It is shocking to Lenora that employment “at-will” actually allows employers to terminate workers at any time, for any reason or no reason (even a bad reason), just so long as it’s not an illegal reason. As we re-join their conversation, Curt is trying to explain to Lenora that the best way to fight back against a hostile work environment is to focus on the “illegal reasons” instead of focusing on “fairness”. Fight With Fairness, or With a Protected Class?





Curt Urges Lenora to Forget “Fairness”


“Thanks for returning my call, Curt; you’ve been very generous with your time,” said Lenora.

“Anything for family, Lenora. And besides, I don’t want you to go and screw yourself by thinking you can get what’s ‘fair’”, said Curt.

“Said like a true lawyer,” Lenora replied. “Right, I shouldn’t believe that fairness matters. Do people really pay you hundreds of dollars an hour to tell them stuff like this?”

“The pay me many hundreds per hour, because I know what works. It may not sound like what you want to hear, but it will get you where you want to go. Fighting back against an abusive boss is not path down a flowery trail marked ‘Fairness: this way’. It’s a tough journey that requires you to take up arms and fight.”

“Now you sound like a football coach.”

“Okay, I’m going to hang up the phone now–”

“No no no! Sorry. I’m just frustrated. Michelle can treat me like crap, and when I turn to attorney for help what’s the first thing out of his mouth? ‘It’s perfectly legal for you boss to treat you like crap.’”

“But there’s more to the rule!” said Curt. “There are exceptions to the rule that it’s legal for your boss to treat you like crap. That’s what I’m trying to tell you about: the exceptions.”




Your Protected Class is the Key


“But you are also telling me that one of the exceptions is NOT fairness, right?” “Yes, right,” said Curt. “Well I still say that’s stupid, ” said Lenora. “Supervisors should not be able to drive you out your job and some tiny little mistake while allowing other people to gossip their entire day away.”

“And what I’m trying to tell you is that the law doesn’t allow supervisors to do that if the people getting run out of their jobs are all older men, and the gossipers are all younger women. Or if it’s Asians getting run out of their job, while all the gossipers are Caucasian. Or pregnant women getting run out, or veterans or… well do you see what I mean?”

“I think so. Even though I’m upset Michelle is getting away with attacking me unfairly, I can’t say that.”

“Right,” said Curt. “You have to say, ‘Michelle is attacking me and singling me out because of my age. Because THAT is illegal. THAT will get H.R.’s attention. They don’t care about unfairness because no law prohibits unfairness. Saying all this crap Michelle is putting you through at work is happening because of your age is what will turn you from a whiner into a warrior.”

“Okay, I get it and I’ll do it. Even though I still think the law should be different. Don’t complaint about unfairness. Complain about mistreatment because of age.” Lenora smiled to herself. “I can’t wait to get back to work and do this.”




Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com















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