Retaliation Claim Survives Summary Judgment; Triable Issues Exist as to Causation

In Wright v. Ad Pepper Media USA, LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 31898(U), 152538/2015 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. July 1, 2019), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s retaliation claim under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Plaintiff claims in his first cause of action that defendant terminated plaintiff’s employment on April 4, 2014 in retaliation for making a complaint of discrimination to his supervisor on April 2, 2014 in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law, N. Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(7). Defendant points to a documented history of perceived poor performance for at least six months prior to plaintiff’s termination. However, while it may be true that plaintiff’s employer was dissatisfied with plaintiff’s job performance for an extended period of time, plaintiff’s employer apparently did not make the decision to suspend plaintiff’s employment until the day he first made
a complaint of discrimination on April 2, 2014 and then terminated plaintiff’s employment two days later on April 4, 2014. Under the circumstances presented, although defendant may have proffered legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for discharging plaintiff, there are triable issues of fact as to whether plaintiff’s complaint of discrimination was a motivating factor in the decision to terminate based on the temporal proximity between the complaint of discrimination and the adverse employment action.

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