April 2015

In Linder v. Innovative Commercial Sys. LLC, decided April 30, 2015, the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint alleging failure to pay commissions. Citing the Court of Appeals’ decision in Pachter v. Bernard Hodes Group, Inc., the court explained: Given the seven-year course of dealing between the parties, in which plaintiff…

Read More At-Will Commission Salesman Not Entitled to Commissions on Post-Termination Payments
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Here is the complaint, captioned Matthew Luke v. Al Jazeera America and Osman Mahmud, NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Index No. 154219-2015 (Apr. 28, 2015), filed against news organization Al Jazeera and others. Plaintiff alleges that defendants retaliated against him after he opposed defendant Mahmud’s discriminatory acts against his colleagues on the basis of their gender,…

Read More Discrimination Lawsuit Against Al Jazeera America
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In Connolly v. 129 East 69th St. Corp., a personal injury trip-and-fall case, one defendant moved for summary judgment to dismiss plaintiff’s case. The Supreme Court granted the motion. The Appellate Division, however, reversed that decision, finding that the defendant filed its motion one day after the motion filing deadline: Supreme Court’s individual part rules…

Read More Summary Judgment Motion Filed One Day Late Deemed Untimely in Personal Injury Case
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In Kane v. 247 Real Media, 14-cv-2482, 2015 WL 1623832 (SDNY April 7, 2015), the court explained and applied the “administrative exhaustion” requirement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plaintiff – a transgender woman – alleged that she was subjected to discrimination based on her race, color, gender, and national origin.…

Read More Failure to File at EEOC Dooms Federal Transgender Discrimination Claims
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A recent decision, Martinez v. Lincoln Center (Sup. Ct. Bx. Cty. Apr. 8, 2015), illustrates that attorneys who engage in obstructionist conduct at depositions do so at their peril. In this personal injury action, plaintiff, a laborer, was injured when he slipped and fell on debris in an underground garage at Lincoln Center. The court granted…

Read More Violation of Deposition Rules Results in $250 Sanction Against Defense Attorney in Personal Injury Case
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An employer recently learned the hard way that firing an employee – because she rejected his sexual advances – by text message is a bad idea. In Comm’n on Human Rights ex rel. Martinez v. Joseph “J.P.” Musso Home Improvement & Joseph Musso, OATH Index No. 2167/14 (Feb. 27, 2015), the New York City Office of Administrative…

Read More OMG LOL: Text Message Firing of Employee Who Opposed Sexual Harassment May Cost Employer $37K
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In Greathouse v. JHS Security, 12-4521-cv (2nd Cir. April 20, 2015), the Second Circuit (panel: Carney, Pooler, Korman) held that, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain (2011), the FLSA’s retaliation provision (29 USC 215) is not restricted to written complaints to a government agency, but is broad enough to prohibit retaliation…

Read More Second Circuit: FLSA Anti-Retaliation Provision Covers Oral Complaints to Employer, Not Just Written Complaints to Government
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In a lawsuit filed April 2, 2015 and captioned Lombardi v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc. et al., 15-cv-02516, plaintiff Lombardi asserts various claims against defendant CBS, including gender discrimination, retaliation, constructive discharge, aiding and abetting discrimination, and hostile work environment. Among other allegations, plaintiff (who is male) alleges that at CBS’ December 2013 holiday party, a…

Read More Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against CBS
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In Bivens v. Institute for Community Living, 15-cv-07173 (SDNY April 17, 2015), the Southern District of New York held that plaintiff plausibly alleged gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and, necessarily, the New York City Human Rights Law). In addition to providing guidance on pleading these types of claims,…

Read More Instructive Decision on Pleading a Title VII Gender Discrimination Claim
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In Kurtz v. Supercuts, Inc. – a personal injury / premises liability / slip-and-fall case – the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The court explained: Summary judgment was properly denied in this action where plaintiff alleges that she was injured when she slipped and fell on a…

Read More Hair Salon Slip/Fall Case Continues
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