John P. Shea is an experienced advisor, advocate and ally who helps his clients keep their focus on their business. Public and private employers alike rely upon John's 20 plus years of experience handling labor and employment matters. John provides his clients with a professional human resources partner who understands their business and the pace at which it is transacted. He keeps employers abreast of the ever-increasing myriad of laws affecting today's workplace, including both federal and state legislation governing equal employment opportunity, wage and hour issues, family and medical leave and disability accommodation. Clients know that John will respond to their inquiries with sound, practical, and timely advice, when they need it, not after. When necessary, John provides pro-active and seasoned advocacy representing 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 state and federal courts.

On the labor front, John assists employers with understanding and exercising their rights. he provides training on union organizing campaigns and assists in effectively managing workforces where unionization has occurred by negotiating, arbitrating, and administering collective bargaining agreements and protecting management rights through representation in unfair labor practice proceedings.


Contact Info

  • Hartford
    90 State House Square
    Hartford, CT 06103-3702
  • 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 - former past president

    Rotary Club of Avon-Canton - member


    • 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
    • Negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of public sector employers with numerous employee groups, including, inter alia, police, public works, dispatchers, engineers, information technology professionals, social workers, nurses, custodians, and food service workers
    • 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
    • Secured judgment for his client after a month long bench trial defending a public employer from whistleblowing retaliation claims brought by an employee police officer
    • Obtained summary judgment for a defendant municipality on claims that it had constructively discharged a management level employee through the budget process, and successfully defended the subsequent appeal
    • Successfully defended a grievance challenging the termination of a police officer for off-duty misconduct

    News & Insights

    Case Studies

    Bar and Court Admissions

    • Connecticut
    • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit


    Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1993

    Fairfield University, B.A., 1990

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