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Articles Posted in Gender Discrimination

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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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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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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There are myriad behaviors that fall under the umbrella of gender discrimination. For example, a person’s employment may suffer due to his or her gender by way of a demotion or denial of a promotion. In other instances, derogatory comments or threatening behavior based on a person’s gender may create a hostile work environment. Although in some cases, a person may be subject to gender discrimination and may experience a hostile work environment, individual acts of discrimination do not necessarily equate to a hostile work environment, as demonstrated in a recent case decided by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. If you suffered discrimination in the workplace due to your gender, it is wise to speak with an experienced New York employment discrimination attorney regarding your potential claims.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked for the defendant for 34 years. At one point, she held the position of a supervisor of customer services, but her position was modified due to the fact that there were not enough employees to warrant a supervisor. She was advised, however, that if the position were reinstated, she would be restored to that position. Subsequently, in 2015 the plaintiff applied for the position of supervisor of customer services. No interviews were conducted for the position, which was given to a man who never applied for the position. The man then left the position, and the plaintiff once again applied for the position.

It is reported that the plaintiff’s supervisor gave the position to someone outside of the protected class a second time, after which the plaintiff filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After the plaintiff filed the EEOC complaint, she allegedly experienced a hostile work environment. Ultimately, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging claims of discrimination and hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. The defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the hostile work environment claims.

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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.

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Although women have made considerable strides in the workplace, they, unfortunately, continue to face gender-based discrimination on a regular basis. In many cases, however, an employer will argue that allegedly disparate treatment had nothing to do with the employee’s gender, and will seek to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed.  Recently, a New York District Court discussed what a plaintiff’s alleging gender discrimination in violation of the  New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) must plead to withstand a motion to dismiss. If you believe your employer engaged in discriminatory conduct against you due to your gender, it is prudent to speak with a capable New York sex discrimination attorney regarding your potential damages.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked at a branch manager at the defendant brokerage firm for three and a half years. During her employment, she was discouraged from seeking a promotion and was passed over for a promotion in favor of a man who was less qualified. Her supervisor also told her to look for another job when she was about to get married, stating that as a married woman, her priorities would change. She was ultimately promoted, and a second supervisor told her that she would not be employed much longer if she started a family, gave her performance warnings, and reduced her responsibilities. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging sex discrimination in violation of the NYCHRL. In turn, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, alleging the plaintiff failed to set forth facts sufficient to sustain her claim.

Sex Discrimination in Violation of the NYCHRL

A plaintiff seeking to pursue a sex discrimination claim under the NYCHRL must only allege that he or she was treated less favorably because of his or her sex. The courts broadly construe the NYCHRL in light of the remedial and broad purposes of the law. As such, the NYCHRL does not impose a duty on a plaintiff to prove that his or her employer took employment actions that were materially adverse or engaged in severe or pervasive conduct.

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