COVID-19 Updates and Legal Services

Articles Posted in Employment Discrimination

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Although sexual orientation is not explicitly listed as a class protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), people who suffer discrimination in the workplace due to their sexual orientation can pursue claims against their employers for violating Title VII. As with any discrimination claim, however, it is essential for a plaintiff seeking damages for discrimination based on sexual orientation to comply with statutory deadlines, otherwise he or she may run the risk of waiving the right to recover damages. In a recent case, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York discussed when a failure to file an employment discrimination lawsuit within the proscribed time period may be excused. If you suffered discrimination at work due to your sexual orientation, it is advisable to contact a seasoned New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your case.

Factual History

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who self-identifies as a gay man, worked for the defendant as a social worker. He alleged that he was subject to discrimination and retaliation and was ultimately terminated due to his sexual orientation. As such, he filed discrimination charges with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, after which he received a right to sue letter, which stated he had 90 days to file a lawsuit. After receipt of the letter, he attempted to find an attorney for a few weeks but did not secure representation. He then began suffering anxiety and depression over his inability to retain an attorney, which rendered him unable to focus on the task.

It is reported that prior to the end of the 90-day period, the defendant was stabbed by his roommate. He was hospitalized for two weeks after the stabbing, and the 90-day period ran during his hospitalization. He ultimately engaged an attorney and filed his lawsuit 21 days after the 90-day period ran. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to F.R.C.P.12(b)(6), arguing that the plaintiff’s complaint was untimely.

Continue reading

There are numerous classes that are protected from discrimination under both state and federal law. Moreover, in addition to prohibiting discrimination, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for reporting discriminatory behavior. Similar to other employment discrimination claims, though, a plaintiff alleging retaliation must meet a high standard to prove the employer’s acts were the result of retaliation and not another non-discriminatory purpose. Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York explained the elements of a retaliation claim, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged disability and gender discrimination claims. If you experienced workplace discrimination or retaliation for reporting discrimination, it is advisable to speak with a New York employment discrimination attorney regarding your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked for the defendant as a part-time teaching assistant. She suffered from Hashimoto’s disease and advised her employer that she had the disease on numerous occasions. She testified the disease often causes muscle pain, exhaustion, and back and neck pain. The plaintiff reported to her supervisor that she felt uncomfortable with two of the students she was assigned to work with, due to the fact that one of them sent her notes of a sexual nature and because they both made inappropriate comments towards her. She was advised to avoid being around them and to limit her interactions with them.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was ultimately advised that the students’ behavior was addressed with the students and that she would be re-assigned to a new classroom. She became upset and resisted the transfer, suggesting she was not actually uncomfortable with their interactions. She became extremely upset and was advised not to return to the classroom, but did regardless. Later that day, her supervisor stated he was concerned that she was not maintaining appropriate boundaries and was undermining the social workers and failing to manage her classroom. The decision was made to terminate her employment, after which she provided the defendant with a note stating she was taking medical leave. She was terminated one day later. She filed a lawsuit alleging several claims against the defendant, including retaliation. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Continue reading

People with disabilities are afforded many protections under the law, including the right to reasonable accommodation. Whether a plaintiff made a request for a reasonable accommodation and whether his or her request was rightfully denied is generally a question of fact. Recently, the United States District Court of the Northern District of New York discussed what a plaintiff must allege to set forth a viable failure to make a reasonable accommodation claim under New York law. If you have a disability and suffered discrimination in the workplace due to your disability, it is prudent to consult a skillful New York disability discrimination attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts Regarding the Alleged Discrimination

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked for the defendant as a mental health therapy aide. She has a learning disability that makes it difficult for her to write, comprehend, and learn new tasks. She asserted that she began to experience discrimination based on her disability, in that a nurse began to harass her due to the method in which she was completing an assignment, despite the fact that the nurse knew about her disability.

The plaintiff further alleged that the nurse ignored her request for an accommodation and began shaming the plaintiff as a result of the disability. The plaintiff reported the hostile work environment to her supervisor, who refused to intervene. The plaintiff ultimately filed a lawsuit alleging claims of disability discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing in part that the plaintiff failed to set forth sufficient facts to support a claim of failure to make a reasonable accommodation.

Continue reading

It is an unfortunate fact that many people are subject to discriminatory comments in the workplace due to their race or national origin. While discrimination based on a protected class, such as race or national origin, is unlawful, discriminatory comments in and of themselves may not be actionable, if they are not made by a person with authority to impact the victim’s employment. This was discussed in a recent case ruled on by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in which the plaintiff alleged he was subject to employment discrimination based on his race. If you are subjected to discriminatory comments or actions in the workplace, it is sensible to meet with a skillful New York race discrimination attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue claims against your employer.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was from Puerto Rico, worked as a newspaper feeder for the defendant company. His co-workers routinely made derogatory comments regarding his race. Following a dispute with a co-worker, he was terminated. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging numerous claims, including a claim of race and national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, alleging in part that the plaintiff had not set forth sufficient facts to sustain his Title VII claim.

Race Discrimination Under Title VII

Title VII provides that employers are prohibited from discriminating against any person with respect to the terms, conditions, compensation, or privileges of employment because of the person’s race, national origin, and other protected classes. In order to plead a prima facie case of discrimination, a plaintiff must show that he or she was a member of a protected class and that he or she was qualified for the job in question. The plaintiff must also show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action and that there is at least minimal evidence that would allow for the inference that the employer was motivated by discriminatory intent in taking the adverse employment action against the plaintiff.

Continue reading

There is a saying in civil litigation that you only get one bite of the apple. In other words, you cannot attempt to re-litigate a claim merely because you received an unfavorable result. This tenet does not only apply to tort claims, but it also applies to employment discrimination claims, as discussed in a recent gender discrimination case decided by the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York. If you believe you suffered discrimination in the workplace due to your sex or gender, it is advisable to meet with a trusted New York sex discrimination attorney to discuss whether you may be able to assert a claim for damages.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff filed an employment discrimination claim against the defendant employer, alleging she faced disparate treatment due to her gender and race in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing, in part, that the plaintiff could not re-litigate issues that were previously decided in a federal lawsuit arising out of the same alleged harm. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and plaintiff appealed.

Collateral Estoppel in the Realm of Employment Discrimination Cases

In affirming the trial court opinion, the appellate court stated that the trial court correctly ruled that collateral estoppel applied to any factual issues in the present action that were the same as the factual issues resolved by the federal court in dismissing plaintiff’s federal employment discrimination claims.

Continue reading

Numerous laws protect New York employees from discrimination in the workplace due to their race or color. Employment discrimination can take many forms, including disparate treatment. In a recent case, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York discussed what actions may constitute adverse treatment in a case in which the plaintiff alleged he was discriminated against based on his national origin, race, and color. If your employer took adverse action against you at work because of your race or color, you should speak with a seasoned capable New York employment discrimination attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case and Procedural Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked for the defendant city as a corrections officer. He sustained a shoulder injury while at work, after which he underwent shoulder surgery. He subsequently sought extended sick leave, which required him to obtain approval from the Health Management Division of the department of corrections. Thus, a physician was assigned to his case. The physician made fun of the plaintiff’s accent, made derogatory comments about the plaintiff’s color and race, and initially refused to perform an examination. He ultimately deemed the plaintiff able to work with a medically monitored restriction. The plaintiff complained to his supervisor and asked to be assigned a new doctor, but his request was denied.

It is reported that at subsequent appointments, the physician continued to be demeaning and told the plaintiff to go back to his own country. Additionally, as the physician would not designate the plaintiff as unable to work, the plaintiff was forced to take unauthorized sick days, after which he was disciplined, placed on probation, and forced to forfeit sick days. The plaintiff ultimately filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant, alleging multiple claims of discrimination under Title VII, including disparate treatment. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss alleging, in part, that the plaintiff had not properly alleged facts indicating an adverse action.

Continue reading

There are numerous local, state, and federal laws that protect employees from discrimination at work based on their membership in a protected class. For example, Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), all prohibit discrimination based on religion. An employee alleging discrimination in the workplace must not only show that he or she suffered adverse employment effects due to discriminatory practices, however, but also that the employer is covered by one of the laws prohibiting discrimination. For example, the NYCHRL provides broad protection against discrimination, but it only applies in limited circumstances, as demonstrated in a recent religious discrimination case decided by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. If you are a victim of discrimination at work due to your religion, it is in your best interest to speak with a trusted New York religious discrimination attorney to discuss whether you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff began working for the defendant in June 2017. When the plaintiff began his employment, he entered into an agreement with the defendant for a religious accommodation. The plaintiff reported things were proceeding favorably until he emailed his manager regarding concerns that he was routinely scheduled to work on Sundays. Following his email, the plaintiff alleged he was treated differently than other employees, received written warnings, and was ultimately terminated. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging discrimination in violation of the NYCHRL, NYSHRL, and Title VII. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on several grounds, including the assertion that the plaintiff did not allege facts sufficient to sustain his NYCHRL claim.

Scope of the NYCHRL

The laws of New York provide that the NYCHRL only applies to the residents of the five boroughs of New York City, and the people who work there. The boroughs refer to Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn only. Further, case law has established that a nonresident alleging a violation of the NYCHRL must prove that a defendant’s allegedly discriminatory acts impacted the nonresident within one of the boroughs. Moreover, New York courts have extended the rationale regarding the locus of the impact to apply to residents of New York as well. In other words, nonresidents and residents alike that allege discrimination under the NYCHRL must show that the discrimination impacted them in the borders of New York City. In the subject case, although the defendant was a resident of the Bronx, he alleged the discrimination occurred solely in White Plains. Thus, the court dismissed his NYCHRL claim.

Continue reading

Contact Information