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People discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of religion are often able to pursue claims against their employers for violating Title VII.  Prior to filing a civil lawsuit, however, an aggrieved employee must exhaust any administrative remedies, and the failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the case. This was demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, in which the court ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s religious discrimination claims. If you were subject to unjust treatment in the workplace because of your religion, you might be able to recover damages, and it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable New York employment discrimination lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a volunteer firefighter for the defendant fire department. He was suspended following allegations that he bullied another firefighter. At the completion of the investigation, he was removed from the defendant’s membership rolls. He then filed an employment discrimination claim against the defendant, alleging he was treated adversely due to his religion in violation of Title VII. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the basis that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required under the law. The court allowed limited discovery on the issue prior to ruling on the matter.

Consequences of the Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

Prior to pursuing a Title VII claim in federal court, an aggrieved employee must generally exhaust his or her administrative remedies by filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The purpose of this requirement is to give the administrative agency the opportunity to investigate the claim and potentially mediate and take remedial action. Continue reading

People subjected to discrimination in the workplace are often able to recover significant damages. They must abide by the procedural requirements for pursuing employment discrimination claims; however, otherwise, they run the risk of waiving the right to recover compensation. For example, they must file their complaints within the time indicated by the applicable laws. Recently, a New York court addressed the issue of timeliness of Title VII discrimination claims in a ruling in which it ultimately found some of the plaintiff’s race discrimination claims were untimely. If you were treated unfairly due to your race, you might be owed compensation, and it is smart to meet with a skillful New York employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is African American, has worked for the defendant police department since 1992. In 2015, the defendant sergeant began supervising the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that starting in July 2015, the defendants created an environment where the plaintiff was treated differently than other employees because of his race. He experienced numerous instances of race-based disparate treatment over the next year until the defendant was replaced by another supervisor. The plaintiff ultimately filed an employment discrimination claim against the defendants alleging, in part, race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII. The defendants moved to dismiss some of the plaintiff’s Title VII claims on the grounds they were time-barred.

Timeliness of Title VII Claims

Pursuant to Title VII, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees with regard to the privileges, conditions, or terms of employment because of the employees’ race or any other protected characteristic. People who wish to pursue claims under Title VII must first exhaust the administrative remedies provided by the law. In other words, they must file discrimination charges with the EEOC within three hundred days of the date the alleged unlawful employment act occurred. Continue reading

Many people who are subjected to discrimination in the workplace are either terminated or quit because they can no longer tolerate being treated unjustly. However, some people choose to report discriminatory practices to human resources or other supervisory individuals and remain in their place of employment. It is not uncommon for people who report discrimination to face additional adverse consequences from vengeful employers. Retaliation is unlawful, however, and employers who try to punish employees for reporting discrimination may be liable for additional damages, as discussed in a recent New York opinion. If your employer took adverse actions against you after you reported discrimination, it is prudent to speak to a trusted New York employment discrimination lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked as a professor for the defendant college for approximately twenty years. In the last three years of her employment, she faced discrimination based on her age, race, and gender from students and co-workers. She filed a formal complaint in March 2018, arguing the defendant engaged in discriminatory behavior and created a hostile work environment. Two months later, she was denied re-appointment to her position.

Reportedly, the plaintiff then filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that she was denied re-appointment in retaliation for her March 2018 complaint, in violation of federal law. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. Continue reading

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against people based on their gender or engaging in sexual harassment, and employers that fail to abide by anti-discrimination laws and violate their employee’s rights may be deemed liable for any damages they cause. In some instances, employees must provide prompt notice of sexual harassment claims to their employers, and if they fail to do so, their claims may be dismissed. This was shown in a recent New York opinion in which the court explained the plaintiff’s discrimination claims arising out of violations of state law due to the plaintiff’s failure to provide proper notice to the defendant were untimely. If you were sexually harassed at work, you may be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to consult a New York sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Reportedly, the plaintiff worked as a police officer for the defendant town. Throughout the course of her eight-year employment, she was subjected to harassment and discrimination based on her gender and subjected to retaliation for reporting such unlawful acts. The ongoing treatment caused her to suffer physical, emotional, and psychological distress. Thus, she filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of gender-based discrimination and retaliation in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as other tort claims. The defendant removed the case to federal court, and the plaintiff filed a motion to remand. After reviewing the motion, the court ultimately denied it as to the plaintiff’s state law discrimination claims.

Timely Notice of Discrimination Claims

The court noted that both parties agreed that the discrimination claims arising out of state and federal law violations should be litigated together. The plaintiff argued that the court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, though, because the issue of whether she was required to serve a notice of claim prior to asserting state law discrimination claims was a novel issue that should be determined by a state court. Continue reading

In employment discrimination cases, the primary issues are whether the defendant is liable, and if so, what damages are owed. Generally, defendants do not concede liability and will dispute what compensation, if any, is recoverable, and the issues will be presented to a jury. Even if a jury awards the plaintiff damages, though, a defendant may argue that the verdict was unjust and may seek a new trial. In a recent New York opinion arising out of a racial discrimination case, the court explained the grounds for modifying an award for emotional distress damages. If you were discriminated against in the workplace due to your race, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to meet with a New York employment discrimination attorney regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Claims and Damages

It is reported that the plaintiff filed claims of racial discrimination in violation of Title VII against the defendant, his employer. The matter proceeded to trial, and a jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $1.5 million dollars in compensatory damages. The court judgment against the defendant in an amount in excess of $2 million dollars, which represented the compensatory damages owed to the plaintiff as well as equitable relief in the form of back pay, attorneys’ fees, costs, and lost pension income. The defendant then filed a motion requesting a new trial or a remittitur, arguing in part that the damages awarded to the plaintiff for emotional distress were excessive.

Modifying a Damages Award in an Employment Discrimination Case

The court explained that a remitter is a statement on behalf of the court that the damages awarded by the jury were shocking and essentially requires a plaintiff to choose between a new trial and a reduction of an excessive verdict. The court explained that while it is the jury’s domain to calculate damages, there is an upper limit as to what is reasonable. Additionally, a jury cannot discard analysis due to sympathy for a plaintiff and treat harm as grounds for a windfall. Continue reading

Many workplaces present issues for employees, such as co-workers with offensive opinions or overbearing personalities. There are times, however, when a work environment transcends merely being challenging and becomes hostile, such as when an employee is subject to repeated discriminatory actions and comments. The differences between unpleasant and hostile work environments were explained in a recent New York opinion, in a case alleging discrimination based on age and race. If you are subject to continued injustice in the workplace, you may be able to pursue claims against your employer, and it is prudent to speak with a New York hostile work environment attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who is a black woman in her fifties, worked as a teacher for the defendant. When a new supervisor started in 2015, she began receiving negative reviews, was targeted for excessive supervision due to her race and age, and was subject to several events that created progressive hostility. She eventually asked for and received a reassignment. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of a hostile work environment and discrimination based on age and race. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing, in part, that the plaintiff failed to establish the elements of a hostile work environment claim.

Establishing a Hostile Work Environment Under New York Law

The court explained that courts are wary of setting the bar too high in hostile work environment claims. Thus, a plaintiff merely needs to plead facts that are adequate to support a conclusion she faced harassment of such a quantity or severity that a reasonable person would find it detrimentally altered the conditions of her employment in order to withstand summary judgment. Continue reading

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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