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Articles Posted in Employment Discrimination

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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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