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Shah v. Cover-It, Inc.

Connecticut Appellate Court
859 A.2d 959 (2004)


Khalid Shah (plaintiff) entered into a five-year employment contract with Cover-It, Inc. (Cover-It) (defendant) and Brian Goldwitz (defendant). The contract made Shah a structural-engineering manager for Cover-It and included a salary, three weeks’ paid vacation after the first year of employment, and a flexible 35-hour-per-week schedule. The contract also included a severance package set forth in a schedule of benefits outlining how much money Shah would receive after termination of employment based on how long Shah worked at Cover-It before termination. During Shah’s first year at Cover-It, Shah requested time off for vacation. Goldwitz approved the request. Shah, however, did not return to work for 10 weeks. Once Shah returned to work, he only worked a few days a week, spent much of his time at work surfing the internet unrelated to his job duties, and refused to enter his hours, instead merely writing a “P” for present on his time sheets. A month later, Goldwitz fired Shah after Goldwitz asked Shah if he would be finishing certain designs and Shah responded that he would be taking his time with the designs and was not sure that they would be completed. Shah filed suit against Cover-It and Goldwitz to recover the severance package specified in the contract. The defendants counterclaimed, arguing that Shah had materially breached the contract. The trial court ruled in favor of the defendants. Shah appealed, arguing that the trial court had not found any specific contract term that Shah had breached.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Schaller, J.)

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