Lunch Lady’s Lawsuit: Judge Upholds Six of Eight Counts vs. Food Services Director, Board of Ed and Town
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled against a motion to dismiss a New Canaan Public Schools lunch lady’s claims that she was discriminated against based on gender, labored in a hostile work environment and suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress by her boss, the schools’ head of food services. In a Nov. 25 order, Judge Alvin Thompson said that Antonia Torcasio, 59—a lunch worker for 12 years who has been out on unpaid sick leave since October 2013—was subject to an “adverse employment action” under her manager, Bruce Gluck, that “occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of invidious discrimination.”
“Drawing inferences in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, the allegations in the Complaint, taken as true, show that Gluck treated women one way and men quite differently, and the basis for his conduct was gender.”
The ruling upholds six of the eight counts against the defendants—Gluck, the Board of Ed and the town—brought in a lawsuit filed in January by Torcasio’s attorney, Richard Pate of Westport. The Board of Ed’s attorneys, Stamford-based Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP, in April filed a Motion to Dismiss. Asked about the ruling, Pate said it “brings my client one step closer to having her day in court.”
“Given the quantity and severity of Bruce Gluck’s misconduct, it seems that the defendants will now defend themselves by asserting that he was horrendous to all, males and females, so he should be left alone because he did not discriminate,” Pate said.