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Employment discrimination claims, like most other claims, are subject to a statute of limitations. In other words, they must be filed within the time prescribed under the law, or a person risks waiving the right to recover damages. There are some exceptions that will allow a plaintiff to file a lawsuit outside of the strict time constraints, though, such as in cases involving continuing violations. Recently, a New York court discussed what behavior may constitute a continuing violation in an employment discrimination case, thereby allowing a plaintiff to pursue claims at a later date. If you were subject to discrimination in the workplace, you may be owed damages, and it is important to seek the counsel of a trusted New York employment discrimination attorney promptly to avoid losing the right to pursue compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was employed as a correctional officer for the defendant city. He alleges that during his employment, he was targeted and singled out because of his race, and ultimately terminated. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant city and several of its employees, asserting claims of discrimination based on race in violation of Title VII and the New York State and City Human Rights laws, as well as claims of a hostile work environment and wrongful termination. The defendants filed motions to dismiss, arguing in part that some of the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff objected to the motions, arguing that the harm alleged constituted continuing violations.

Claims of Continuing Employment Discrimination

Plaintiff’s complaint alleged retaliation and discrimination in violation of Title VII. Pursuant to the existing law, such claims must be filed within three hundred days of the alleged unlawful behavior. An exception exists, however, for acts that constitute a continuing violation. In other words, for claims arising out of behavior that was part of a continued practice and policy of engaging in discriminatory behavior, which may be present in cases involving discriminatory mechanisms or specific practices.

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People who work in New York are protected against discrimination in the workplace by numerous laws. As such, employees that are subject to unfair treatment based on their inclusion in a protected class may be able to recover damages from their employers. It is important to note, however, that the aggrieved party will typically only get one shot at proving liability, as demonstrated in a recent New York case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s employment discrimination case based on a prior ruling against the plaintiff. If you were treated adversely at work due to your ethnicity, race, or any other protected class, it is critical to retain an assertive New York employment discrimination attorney to help you fight to protect your rights.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff worked for the defendant as a field worker. In June 2018, he had an argument with a co-worker and did not return to work for two days. When he eventually went back to the workplace, he was terminated by his supervisor. The plaintiff was a member of a union who intervened on behalf of the plaintiff. Thus, the plaintiff entered into a final chance stipulation wherein he agreed to attend an alcohol treatment program, during which his employment would be suspended for three months. After completion of the program, he could return to work. He failed to return to work, however, and he was terminated.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (the Division), averring that the defendant violated the State Human Rights Law by discriminating against him based on his ethnicity and disabilities related to his alcoholism. The Division determined that the plaintiff’s employment ended because he failed to abide by the final chance stipulation and that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence of discrimination or show that the reason for his termination was pretextual. The plaintiff then filed similar claims in state court, alleging discrimination in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (the NYCHRL). The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint based on the doctrine of election of remedies and collateral estoppel. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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It goes without saying that for a person to maintain an employment discrimination claim, he or she must demonstrate the existence of an employment relationship. While typically, it is abundantly clear whether a person works for an entity, in some instances, a defendant may dispute whether it employs an individual. This was shown in a recent New York case of employment discrimination in which a corporate entity denied that it employed the plaintiff, who worked at a franchise of the entity. If you were discriminated against at work, you might be able to seek damages from your employer and should consult a skillful New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss the potential merits of your claim.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked at a franchise of a fast-food chain that was owned by the defendant franchisee pursuant to an agreement with the defendant corporation. The plaintiff learned from a coworker that the defendant franchisee’s manager stated that he would not have hired the plaintiff if he knew she was pregnant. He then made the same statement to the plaintiff and sent the plaintiff a text message later that day, stating that she was fired because she was pregnant. The plaintiff filed employment discrimination against the defendants, alleging she was discriminated against based on her gender and pregnancy. The defendant corporation filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that it was not the plaintiff’s employer or a joint employer.

Demonstrating an Employer-Employee Relationship

Under the joint employer doctrine, when a person is employed by one entity, liability can be imposed on a second entity based on a relationship between the two companies. Parties will be considered joint employers if they are legally separate parties that jointly handle specific aspects of their employer-employee relationship. In determining whether a joint employer relationship exists, a court will look at whether a party exercised immediate control over another party’s employees. In the subject case, the court found that it could not state that, as a matter of law, there was no joint employer relationship.

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Numerous laws protect employees from discriminatory practices in the workplace; as such, an employee that is the victim of discrimination can report the unlawful practices in hopes of resolving the issue without legal intervention. In some instances, however, reporting illegal activity can worsen the situation and ultimately result in adverse employment actions against the victim, which may be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit. In a recent employment discrimination case, a New York court assessed what a plaintiff must plead to set forth a valid retaliation claim. If your employer treated you differently after you reported discrimination or harassment, you may be able to pursue claims against your employer and should speak to a dedicated New York employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a firefighter for the defendant city. He alleges that throughout the duration of his employment, he was treated adversely due to his race, sexual orientation, and religion. He filed a complaint with the EEOC in the spring of 2015, after which he alleged the defendant struck back against him by placing him on light duty. He subsequently filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant, alleging numerous causes of action, including retaliation. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted.

Allegations Sufficient to Sustain a Retaliation Claim

Pursuant to the New York State Human Rights Law and Title VII, a plaintiff alleging retaliation must set forth plausible allegations that he or she participated in an activity that is protected under the law and that the defendant knew of the protected acts. The plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action, such as termination or a reduction in pay or duties, and that the protected activity and the adverse action are causally related.

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It is not uncommon for an employer to ask an employee to sign a contract at the onset of a job that defines the terms of employment. It is critical for employees to thoroughly review any contract they are presented with, however, as in some instances, the contract may require an employee to waive certain rights. This was demonstrated in a recent employment discrimination case filed in New York, in which the court ordered the parties to proceed to arbitration based upon the terms of the plaintiffs’ employment contracts. If you suffered discrimination in the workplace, it is prudent to confer with a diligent New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your rights and your potential avenues for seeking damages.

Factual History

It is reported that both plaintiffs signed employment contracts when they were hired by the defendant, a media company. The contracts included provisions that stated that any alleged violation of federal or state laws that could not be resolved informally would be resolved via arbitration. Ultimately, the plaintiffs filed a joint lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims of discrimination on the basis of color, race, and gender. The defendant then filed a motion to stay the lawsuit and to compel the plaintiffs to proceed to arbitration pursuant to the terms of the employment contract.

Determining Whether to Compel Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Claims

Under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), an agreement to arbitrate is irrevocable, valid, and enforceable. As such, the FAA allows a party wronged by the failure to arbitrate an issue pursuant to a written agreement to petition a court for an order directing arbitration to proceed in the manner set forth in the agreement. A party will be deemed to refuse to arbitrate pursuant to the FAA if the party files a lawsuit in a state or federal court.

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Many people in the workforce are older and, unfortunately, discriminated against due to their age. Age discrimination is unlawful, and people who suffer adverse employment effects due to age discrimination may be able to recover damages in a civil lawsuit. Recently, a New York court discussed a plaintiff’s burden of proof in an age discrimination case, in an action in which the plaintiff’s claims were ultimately dismissed. If you were the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, it is advisable to speak to a skilled New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to be awarded damages.

The Alleged Discrimination

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a real estate executive for the defendant investment group. During his tenure, the defendant CEO allegedly made comments regarding the plaintiff’s age. The plaintiff was eventually terminated, after which he filed an age discrimination claim against the defendants. The defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the court granted.

Proving Age Discrimination

Under the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee in terms of compensation, conditions, or terms of employment or to terminate an employee due to the employee’s age. Under the burden-shifting framework of ADEA employment discrimination cases, a plaintiff must set forth facts sufficient to establish a prima facie case of discrimination, after which the defendant must demonstrate that a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason existed for the adverse actions taken against the plaintiff. The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant’s reasons are pretextual, otherwise, the plaintiff’s claim will be dismissed.

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It is not uncommon for ongoing discriminatory acts in the workplace to create a hostile work environment. As such, the law allows for people subject to a hostile work environment to file claims against their employer. Hostile work environment claims must be filed within a certain timeframe, or they will be dismissed, however, as shown in a recent New York case. If you are subject to a hostile work environment because of discrimination, it is prudent to consult a dedicated New York employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to recover damages.

Factual History

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a pathologist at the defendant cancer research company. For approximately eighteen months, she was subjected to discrimination in pay as compared to her male colleagues, and discrimination in assignments due to the fact that she was a woman and was Chinese. She also experienced verbal abuse that constituted a hostile work environment. After she exhausted her administrative remedies, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging close to twenty different claims against multiple defendants, including numerous hostile work environment claims. The defendants then jointly filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing in part that the plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims should be dismissed as untimely.

Timeliness of a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Under Title VII, a single discriminatory or retaliatory act occurs on the date that it happens. Therefore, a plaintiff must file a claim within either one hundred and eighty days or three hundred days of the date of the act, or the plaintiff will lose the right to recover damages. Regarding hostile work environment claims, the provision of Title VII that requires a plaintiff to file a claim in a timely manner only requires a plaintiff to file a claim within a specific number of days after the unlawful behavior occurred. It does not matter under the statute, however, that some of the acts of the hostile work environment fell outside of the time period under the statute.

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In many instances, when an employer engages in discriminatory acts to the detriment of an employee, the employee is not the sole victim of the employer’s inappropriate behavior but is merely the most recent party to face adverse effects due to the employer’s undertakings. As such, evidence regarding the employer’s prior discriminatory behavior may be helpful to establish that the employer has a practice of engaging in discrimination. In a recent New York employment discrimination case in which the defendant objected to discovery seeking information regarding other claims, the court explained when evidence of similar acts is discoverable. If you were the victim of workplace discrimination, it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable New York employment discrimination attorney about your rights.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked as a physician assistant at the defendant medical center. He suffered from back pain and cataracts and alleged that despite receiving positive performance reviews, he was treated adversely due to his health issues. He was assigned to move to the interventional radiology department but advised his supervisor that the transfer would negatively affect his health. He was informed, however, that if he did not accept the transfer, he would be seen as quitting. While he met with a human resources manager to discuss the potential transfer and his request for accommodations, he was ultimately terminated.

Reportedly, the plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of disability discrimination. During the discovery phase of the case, the plaintiff sought documents regarding prior complaints or charges of discrimination in any of the defendant’s departments as well as claims against specific employees, and prior requests for accommodations from the interventional radiology department. The defendant objected to the discovery requests and offered to produce documents that solely related to claims against the specific employees.

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When a victim of employment discrimination wishes to seek compensation for their losses via a civil lawsuit, he or she must file any claims within the time constraints set forth under the applicable laws. In certain circumstances, however, a plaintiff’s failure to pursue a claim in a timely manner may be excused, such as when the plaintiff is suffering from a medical condition. Different standards apply in state and federal claims for tolling the statute of limitations due to an illness, though, and a plaintiff that relies on an incorrect standard may waive the right to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent New York case. If you were harmed due to employment discrimination in New York, it is critical to retain an experienced New York employment discrimination attorney to assist you in pursuing damages.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a doctor at the defendant hospital. She filed a lawsuit in federal court against the defendant, setting forth numerous claims, including disability discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the employment discrimination claims, arguing the claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

Allegedly, the plaintiff argued that she was entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations due to health issues that prevented her from filing the complaint in a timely manner. The court granted the motion, dismissing the plaintiff’s state employment discrimination claims. The plaintiff filed a Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration, arguing that the trial court erred in ruling the statute of limitations should not be tolled.

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When an employee is subject to discrimination in the workplace, it is often actionable under state and federal law. Additionally, if the party engaging in the discriminatory activity is a public employer, it may be considered a violation of the employee’s civil rights. In a recent New York case in which the plaintiff alleged claims of sex discrimination and hostile work environment, the court discussed what a plaintiff alleging civil rights violations in the workplace must prove to recover damages. If you work for a public employer in New York and are subject to discrimination in the workplace, it is advisable to contact a trusted New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your rights.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff worked for defendant County as a corrections officer. In 2011 the plaintiff took an examination for promotion. Individuals who took the exam were ranked according to score, and those with the highest scores were promoted when positions became available. The scores were valid for four years, but during the four-year period, twenty men and no women received promotions. Thus, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging sex discrimination and a hostile work environment created by the preferential treatment of women who were in relationships with male officers, which created a de facto policy of discrimination for which the County should be held liable. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

Sex Discrimination in Violation of the Fourteenth Amendment

A public employee subject to sex discrimination in violation of his or her Fourteenth Amendment rights can pursue claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against his or her employer, which essentially alleges that his or her civil rights were violated under the color of law. Under § 1983, a municipality will only be held liable if the plaintiff’s rights were deprived because of government policy, custom, or usage of the municipality. Municipal liability may be established not only by showing a formal policy but also through a final decision made by a policymaker or where a widespread practice is so settled and permanent that it becomes policy with the force of law. Isolated acts of a non-policymaking person can be grounds for liability as well, if it was done pursuant to municipal policy or if the acts were so widespread, they constituted a policy or custom.

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