November 2016

In Mondesir v. N. Shore LIJ Health Sys., No. 14-CV-6496 (JGK), 2016 WL 6952254 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 28, 2016), the court dismissed plaintiff’s race discrimination (hostile work environment) claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiff, a black woman born in Haiti, worked as a medical assistant for defendant. She alleged, among other things, that a manager’s…

Read More Court Discusses “Dog Whistle”, or “Coded”, Racism; Dismisses Race-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim
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In Frederick v. JetBlue Airways Corp., No. 16-1373-CV, 2016 WL 6885714 (2d Cir. Nov. 22, 2016) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s employment discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) as being time-barred – i.e., filed…

Read More “Equitable Tolling” Does Not Save Time-Barred Discrimination Claims
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A recent decision, Forest v. NYS Office of Mental Health, No. 15-3950, 2016 WL 6917228 (2d Cir. Nov. 23, 2016) (Summary Order), illustrates that not every employer’s action qualifies as an “adverse employment action” sufficient to establish a retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In this case, the court…

Read More Title VII Retaliation Claim Properly Dismissed; Discipline Per Employer Policy and “Trivial Harms” Were Not “Adverse Employment Actions”
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In Pearce v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., No. 14 CIV. 6836, 2016 WL 4540832 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2016), the court denied defendant’s summary judgment motion on plaintiff’s personal injury / slip-and-fall claim. In sum, plaintiff claimed that they were injured when they slipped on a wet substance while in defendant’s store. As explained by the court,…

Read More Slip/Fall Case Continues; Destruction of Video Leads to Inference of Constructive Notice
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In a lawsuit filed in New York State Court on 11/22/16, captioned Corcoran v. Siebert Cisneros Shank Co LLC et a (Index No. 159868/2016), plaintiff asserts that “[h]is working environment … more closely resembled a rowdy teenage boys’ locker room than a professional trading floor at a well-regarded Wall Street firm.” This allegation evokes president-elect Donald…

Read More Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Siebert Cisneros Shank
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In Pall v. Roosevelt Union Free Sch. Dist., No. 11734/13, 2016 WL 6885459 (N.Y. App. Div. 2nd Dept Nov. 23, 2016), the court affirmed the dismissal – for failure to state a claim under CPLR 3211(a)(7) – of plaintiff’s defamation and (NYS Human Rights Law) hostile work environment claims. The facts, as summarized by the…

Read More “Bitches” Comment Was Opinion; Teacher’s Defamation and Hostile Work Environment Claims Properly Dismissed
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In Figueroa v. Johnson, 648 F. App’x 130, 133 (2d Cir. 2016), the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s gender/national origin discrimination, hostile work environment, quid pro quo sexual harassment, and retaliation claims. Plaintiff, a Customs and Border Protection Officer at JFK Airport, argued (inter alia) that he was discriminated against on the basis of gender…

Read More Gender/National Origin Discrimination Claim Dismissed; Comparators Also Required to Work Holidays (Including Thanksgiving)
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In today’s political climate, it is more important than ever to protect workers from workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment and discrimination based on protected characteristics such as gender, race/color, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin. Last week the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal administrative agency tasked with enforcing, inter alia, Title VII of the…

Read More EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination
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In a recently-filed lawsuit, captioned Castellanos v. Berkman Capital LLC et al (filed in NY Sup. Ct., Index 159768-2016, 11/18/16), plaintiff asserts claims of gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment against financial lending company Berkman Financial and others, including individual defendants Geoffrey Byruch and Michael Vulcano. Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that she was…

Read More Sexual Harassment, Gender/Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit Against Berkman Capital
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