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People who work for municipalities or other public corporations are not immune from unjust treatment in the workplace. They are subject to additional notice requirements if they wish to seek claims against their employers, though, and the failure to provide adequate notice could ultimately result in a waiver of the right to recover damages. The consequences of failing to properly apprise an employer of a potential claim were discussed in a recent opinion issued by a New York court in a case in which the plaintiff asserted wrongful termination claims. If your employer fired you in violation of the law, it would benefit you to consult a New York wrongful termination attorney to assess your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

Reportedly, the plaintiff began working as an employee of the defendant county in 2005. In 2018, while working in the Sheriff’s Department, he found an ammunition magazine pouch in the drawer of a desk and moved it to the top of a gun box. About a week later, he was accused of stealing the ammunition magazine. He was advised he could resign or face criminal charges. He was then placed on administrative leave, and shortly thereafter, he was terminated and arrested.

It is alleged that the plaintiff was ultimately cleared of all charges. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting numerous claims, including wrongful termination. Prior to filing his complaint, he sent a written notice of claim to the defendant, as required by N.Y. Gen. Mun. L. § 50-e. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted, but the plaintiff was granted leave to amend. He filed a proposed amended complaint, which the defendant moved to dismiss as well. Continue reading

In employment discrimination cases, the testimony of the plaintiff and other key witnesses is usually essential to proving or refuting liability. While depositions can normally be completed within a day, in some instances, multiple days are required to fully obtain relevant information. Recently, a New York court discussed when depositions could be extended past a day in an employment discrimination case. If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, it is advisable to consult a New York employment discrimination attorney to determine your potential claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant banking corporation for unspecified reasons. During the course of discovery, depositions were conducted, including the plaintiff’s. The parties agreed to allow the plaintiff’s deposition to continue for a second day, to allow the defendant’s counsel to fully and fairly obtain his testimony. Prior to the continued deposition, though, the plaintiff’s counsel stated that he would only allow for the plaintiff’s continued deposition if the defendant made one of its witnesses available for a second day of testimony as well. Thus, the defendant filed a motion to compel the plaintiff’s continued deposition.

Depositions in Federal Employment Discrimination Cases

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a deposition can be extended if more time is needed to fairly examine the witness. The need to allow additional time for critical depositions is well established and has been upheld by numerous courts. In the subject case, the plaintiff’s complaint had close to one hundred and fifty paragraphs. Thus, the court stated that ample time was needed to question him on his assertions as well as the facts alleged by the defendant in its affirmative defenses. Continue reading

There are numerous statutes that protect New York employees from being treated unfairly at work, including wage and hour laws. Thus, employers that fail to pay employees fair wages or provide workers with wage notices may be held accountable for civil damages. Frequently, employers who violate wage laws will fail to comply with other statutes designed to protect workers as well, which is also actionable. In a recent ruling, a district court sitting in New York discussed whether it could exercise jurisdiction over state law claims brought in the same matter as wage claims. If you believe your employer violated your wage rights, you should speak to a skilled New York wage and hour claim attorney to discuss your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Reportedly, the plaintiff worked as a waitress for the defendant restaurant. Throughout her employment, she was paid per shift. The defendant never provided her with wage statements or wage notices. The defendant also did not pay her spread of hours pay, as required by New York’s labor laws. She worked for the defendant for approximately three years before she informed her manager that she was pregnant.

It is alleged that the plaintiff did not request any accommodations for her pregnancy but was ultimately terminated regardless. She filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State wage and labor laws, as well as claims of unlawful discharge in violation of New York State and City human rights laws. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. In reviewing the motions, the court addressed, in part, whether it could exercise jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state law claims.

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Discriminatory remarks and actions in the workplace can make a job unbearable and often form the basis of a hostile work environment claim. In many instances, one person or a limited group of people will partake in the discriminatory behavior, and they will be deemed liable while the company as a whole will not be responsible for the harm suffered. In some cases, though, a company may be found vicariously liable for its employees’ wrongful acts, as discussed in a recent New York opinion arising out of a hostile work environment lawsuit. If you were the victim of pervasive discrimination in the workplace, it is prudent to consult a dedicated New York hostile discrimination attorney to assess your options for seeking damages.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff identifies as gender non-conforming and gay. He worked for the defendant glass company as a purchaser. In 2015, the defendant supervisor was placed in charge of the plaintiff. She immediately began treating the plaintiff differently than the other workers, frequently making comments about his sexuality and gender. Although there was no company procedure for dealing with discrimination, he reported the defendant supervisor’s behavior to the company owner, who stated he would speak to the defendant supervisor.

It is reported that the defendant supervisor was issued a warning; nevertheless, the discrimination continued. The handbook in effect at that time contained an anti-discrimination policy and a system of progressive discipline, but the defendant company did not adhere to the procedure. The plaintiff again complained to the company owner, and shortly thereafter, he was terminated. He filed a lawsuit against the defendants alleging, in part, that the defendant company was vicariously liable for the hostile work environment created by the defendant supervisor. The defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment.

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People from a variety of ethnic backgrounds work in New York. While garnering the experiences and knowledge from a diverse group of people is one of the greatest advantages of working in an urban environment, racial discrimination is, unfortunately, a problem in many workplaces. While victims of employment discrimination can seek redress via the courts, they must produce sufficient evidence of discriminatory acts to recover damages. Recently, a New York court discussed the evidence a plaintiff needs to prove disparate treatment in a case alleging racial discrimination. If you were subject to discriminatory acts at work, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak with a seasoned New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff worked at the defendant university as a history professor. The plaintiff, who was of Indian descent, faced extensive obstacles in obtaining tenure and was repeatedly denied distinguished professor status. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging numerous claims of discrimination in violation of state and federal law, including a claim that he was subject to disparate treatment due to the defendant’s failure to renew his salary supplement. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety. After reviewing the plaintiff’s complaint, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Evidence Needed to Prove Disparate Treatment

In part, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s disparate treatment was implausible under Title VII. The plaintiff did not counter the defendant’s argument, and therefore, the court deemed the claim abandoned. The court stated, however, that even if it was not abandoned, it lacked merit and should be dismissed.

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In employment discrimination cases in New York, a plaintiff will often allege that an employer treated the plaintiff differently than other employees in similar situations or positions. In such instances, evidence of such unequal treatment is critical to proving an employer’s liability. Employers may be reluctant to share certain documents and records, however, and may argue that they are either irrelevant or privileged. A plaintiff’s right to obtain materials necessary to the prosecution of a case were discussed in an opinion recently delivered by a New York court, in which an employer objected to the employee’s discovery requests seeking employment records. If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, it is advisable to meet with a trusted New York employment harassment attorney to assess what evidence you may need to prove liability.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations and Discovery Requests

Reportedly, the plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a safety manager on a project involving the renovation of a train station. The plaintiff was terminated approximately two months after she was hired. The defendant cited habitual lateness and other issues pertaining to the plaintiff’s performance as the reason she was terminated. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that her supervisor sexually harassed her throughout the course of her employment, and her rejection of his advances was the actual reason for her termination.

Allegedly, during the course of litigation, the plaintiff sent the defendant discovery requests, seeking documents regarding other employees who had engaged in or been terminated for engaging in the same conduct that the defendant alleged led to the plaintiff’s firing. The defendant opposed the requests, and the plaintiff filed a motion to compel. The court granted the motion in part, only ordering the defendant to produce information regarding other employees who were terminated for the same reason as the plaintiff. The plaintiff appealed.

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Many employment discrimination cases involve delicate issues that require the disclosure of highly sensitive and sometimes offensive information. Despite this, the courts tend to favor that cases remain open. That is, a court will generally allow the pleadings in a case to remain accessible to the public in most instances, and a party that seeks to have a case sealed faces a high burden. The grounds for sealing a case were analyzed in a recent opinion set forth by a New York court in a sexual harassment case. If you were the victim of harassment in the workplace, you may be able to seek damages and should speak to a skillful New York sexual harassment attorney promptly to discuss your rights.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant employer and supervisor, setting forth claims of sex discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment under both federal and state law. The case was resolved expeditiously, in that a settlement was reached before the defendants made an appearance in the case. Thus, the case information mostly consisted of the docket sheet and the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff nonetheless filed a  motion to seal the case. The defendants consented to the motion, but the court ultimately denied the plaintiff’s request regardless.

Grounds for Sealing a Sexual Harassment Case

The court explained that the press and the public have a qualified right under the First Amendment to access certain judicial documents, including complaints and docket sheets. Although judicial documents may be sealed if such protections are demanded by higher values, such restriction require specific findings, on the record, that such closures are necessary to preserve higher values and that the closure is narrowly tailored to serve that interest. As such, sealing an entire case file is a last resort.

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In any employment discrimination case in New York, the plaintiff must not only demonstrate that the employer engaged in discriminatory practices but also that such behavior adversely impacted the plaintiff’s employment. Many acts may constitute an adverse action, including actual and constructive termination. Recently, a New York court discussed what constitutes constructive discharge in a case in which the plaintiff alleged he had to stop working because of sexual harassment. If you needed to stop working because of harassment in the workplace, you should meet with a seasoned New York sexual harassment attorney to assess whether you may be able to pursue a claim for damages.

The Alleged Harassment

Reportedly, the plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a car inspector from 2006 through 2017. He was diagnosed with numerous psychiatric disorders, for which he took medication. He began experiencing taunts from his coworkers in 2009 when they learned their supervisor preferred the plaintiff to other workers. In 2016, a coworker made a sexual comment to the plaintiff, which the plaintiff reported. Later that year, the same coworker placed a note expressing sexual thoughts inside of the plaintiff’s pocket, which the plaintiff reported as well.

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s coworkers then began teasing him about his mental health issues. Plaintiff submitted a complaint and then took a vacation. After he returned from vacation, he quit. He ultimately filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that he was subjected to a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment and discrimination because of his mental illness. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment.

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Under both state and federal law, employers have to pay employees the minimum wage defined by statute and must pay eligible employees overtime, and employers that fail to do so may be held civilly liable. While many wage and hour claims must be resolved via trial, in cases in which an employer’s violations are clear, an employee may be able to obtain summary judgment on the question of liability. This was illustrated in a recent New York case in which the court found that the employer was liable for wage violations as a matter of law, and therefore a trial on the issue was not necessary. If you believe your employer failed to pay you appropriate wages in violation of wage laws, you should meet with a dedicated New York wage and hour attorney to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Employment History

It is alleged that from August 2003 through August 2018, the plaintiff worked as a sales-clerk for the defendant corporation which sold wholesale beauty products. The plaintiff did not have administrative or executive duties. He did not receive a notice from the defendant regarding his pay when he started and never completed any paperwork. He was paid a set amount every two weeks, regardless of how many hours he worked. He received his pay in cash and in a paycheck, but his paystubs did not reflect the cash amounts. Throughout the course of his employment, he worked fifty-seven hours each week. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the defendant’s practices violated the New York Labor Law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act. After discovery ended, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability.

Proving an Employer Failed to Pay Minimum Wage and Overtime Compensation

Under the New York Labor Law, every employer that has ten or fewer employees must pay each of its employees the minimum wage set forth by the statute for each hour worked in New York City. In assessing whether an employer committed a minimum wage violation, a court will consider the average hourly wage of the employee, which is calculated by dividing the total pay an employee received in a workweek by the total number of hours worked during that week.

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It is clear that under New York law, a plaintiff alleging gender-based discrimination must set forth evidence sufficient to prove such claims. In many instances, the evidence will be purely circumstantial and may include the plaintiff’s own testimony. As discussed in a recent gender discrimination case, while a plaintiff’s testimony may be sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment, a plaintiff who previously denied an essential fact cannot simply provide new contradictory testimony in an effort to avoid dismissal. If you were the victim of discrimination in the workplace, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted New York employment discrimination attorney to determine what you must prove to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff worked for the defendant human rights commission. At some point, she interviewed with the chair of the commission for the position of executive director. She was passed over for the position and faced other adverse effects at work, after which she filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging numerous gender-based discrimination claims. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. The plaintiff appealed, arguing in part, that the court erred in dismissing her claim that she was denied a promotion based on her gender.

The Impact of Contradictory Testimony in Employment Discrimination Cases

Upon review, the court assumed that for purposes of its analysis that the plaintiff had set forth a prima facie case of employment discrimination based on her failure to receive a promotion, and that the defendant had set forth a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for denying the motion. The court found, however, that the plaintiff had not produced any evidence that would support the inference that the defendant’s reasons for promoting another employee over the plaintiff were mere pretext.

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