HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A federal appeals court says former Gov. John Rowland’s administration violated state employees’ constitutional rights when it laid off 2,800 workers based on their union membership in 2003.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that workers’ First Amendment right of freedom of association was violated and ordered a lower court to decide on an award for the employees. Friday’s ruling overturned a lower court decision in favor of the Rowland administration, which denied wrongdoing.
Rowland and his aides told union leaders in 2002 that about 3,000 unionized workers would be laid off if they didn’t agree to about $450 million in concessions.
The appeals court also ruled civil penalty claims against Rowland and his budget director, Marc Ryan, for their actions can go to trial.
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