June 2013

The New York Supreme Court (New York County) addressed, in OTG Management, LLC v. Konstantinidis, the propriety of injunctive relief in the restrictive covenant context. The court upheld an employment agreement’s non-solicitation, but not non-competition, provisions. In this case, plaintiff OTG hired Mr. Konstantinidis to be an operations manager for its food and beverage services in…

Read More Court Enforces Non-Solicitation, But Not Non-Competition, Employment Contract Provisions
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Yesterday in Barenboim v. Starbucks, the New York Court of Appeals (responding to the Second Circuit’s certified questions) interpreted New York Labor Law § 196-d. That statute provides: No employer or his agent or an officer or agent of any corporation, or any other person shall demand or accept, directly or indirectly, any part of the gratuities,…

Read More NY Court of Appeals Interprets New York Tip Statute as it Applies to Starbucks Employees
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Below is today’s Supreme Court decision in U.S . v. Windsor, which holds section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. That section, codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7, provides: In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of…

Read More SCOTUS Strikes Down DOMA Section 3: U.S. v. Windsor
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Yes, you read that right. The Court of Appeals recently indicated, in Hastings v. Sauve, an intention to chip away at the “vicious propensity” rule that has traditionally been applied to lawsuits arising from animal-related injuries. While driving on Route 53 in the Town of Bangor in Franklin County, Karen Hastings hit a cow with her…

Read More NY Court of Appeals: Plaintiffs May Proceed On Negligence Theory To Seek Damages For Injuries Caused By Wandering Livestock
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Today the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, that retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must meet the more rigorous “but for” standard of causation applied under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.   The Court, focusing on the text, history, and structure…

Read More U.S. Supreme Court Raises Causation Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims
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Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Vance v. Ball State University, which employees are “supervisors” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  I previously wrote about the case here. Whether the alleged discriminator/harasser is the plaintiff’s “supervisor” or “co-worker” is critical: Under Title VII, an employer’s liability for ……

Read More U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Who Is A Title VII “Supervisor”
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A case recently decided by the Eastern District of New York, Smith v NYC Health and Hosp Corp., 10-cv-714 (EDNY June 18, 2013), illustrates the somewhat difficult task faced by employment discrimination plaintiffs and confirms that not all workplace adversity is actionable. In short, the law does not impose a “general civility code which prohibits all…

Read More Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation Claims
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In Martino v. Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y., Inc., 105 AD3d 575 (App. Div. 1st Dept Apr. 18, 2013), the First Department held that New York’s “conviction discrimination” law (NY Correction Law Article 23-A, §§ 750-755) does not protect an employee from discipline/termination due to convictions and arrests incurred while they are employed. The court explained: Defendant…

Read More First Department Holds That New York’s “Conviction Discrimination” Law Does Not Protect Employee Where Conviction Occurs During Employment
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A plaintiff (Thomas) recently saw his more than $600,000 jury verdict in a civil rights case against the NYPD crumble to dust due to an undisclosed agreement with a fact witness (Marrow) who testified in his favor.  The court’s decision in the case, Thomas v. City of New York, is here.   There, the court granted defendants’ motion…

Read More Substantial False Arrest Jury Verdict Tossed Because of Undisclosed Agreement Between Plaintiff And Key Fact Witness
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