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John P. Shea, Jr.

Hartford Office
90 State House Square
Hartford, CT 06103-3702
p 860.424.4387
f 860.424.4370

John P. Shea is an experienced litigator who has represented public and private entities in labor and employment matters for more than twenty years.  He routinely represents employers, officers and employees in employment litigation, including the defense of: discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims under Title VII, CFEPA, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the ADA, and the ADEA; whistleblower and wrongful termination claims; wage and hour claims, constitutional violations against public employers and their employees brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a variety of employment-related common law tort (negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress) and contract (express and implied) claims.  His trial experience includes matters submitted to arbitration, numerous courtside trials to judgment and jury trials to verdict in both state and federal courts.  

Representative Experience

  • Routinely counsels employers on the discipline of both bargaining and non-bargaining unit employees
  • The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision and dismissed a claim against his clients, numerous police officials.  The case involved a police officer's right to free speech under the First Amendment.  Attorney Shea successfully represented the defendant police officials at the District Court level and before the Court of Appeals
  • Investigated a number of municipal employees and officers for allegations of misconduct occurring on and off-duty, including allegations of theft, narcotic use, harassment, negligent financial reporting, inappropriate relationships with a minor, and other issues
  • Secured a favorable result at the Trial Court level after a two-week trial defending a municipal employer from a class action claim seeking in excess of $17 million in pension enhancements
  • Obtained, after a week-long jury trial, a verdict in favor of his clients, a municipality and its fire chief, involving claims brought by a firefighter that he was denied a promotion on numerous occasions due to his race
  • After a jury trial, obtained a defendant's verdict for a municipality against claims brought by a terminated housing inspector alleging disability discrimination
  • Obtained summary judgement for the defendant municipal police department and police supervisors on numerous civil rights claims brought by an employee.  In the course of that representation, Attorney Shea assisted in presenting two issues of first impression to the Connecticut Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court adopted both positions asserted by Attorney Shea, finding that: (1) the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act does not impose liability upon individual municipal officers; and (2) a claim for the negligent infliction of emotional distress cannot lie against an individual supervisor for actions occurring during a continuing employment relationship

Professional Affiliations

  • Connecticut Bar Association - Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
  • Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys
  • Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
  • National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys

Community Involvement

  • Avon Chamber of Commerce - immediate past president
  • Rotary Club of Avon-Canton - member