March 2020

In a recent case, Martin v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, 2020 WL 1514747 (2d Cir. March 30, 2020) (Summary Order), the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim asserted under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision is instructive as to the standard applied…

Read More Hostile Work Environment Dismissal Affirmed; 2d Circuit Discusses & Applies Negligence Standard Under Title VII
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In a recent decision, Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, 2020 WL 1325816 (U.S. March 23, 2020) (Gorsuch, J.), the U.S. Supreme Court held that 42 U.S.C. § 1981 – a federal statute that prohibits race discrimination in the making and enforcement of contracts – is subject to the “ordinary” tort rule…

Read More SCOTUS: Race Discrimination Statute (42 U.S.C. § 1981) Requires Showing of “But For” Causation
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In Matter of Vega (Postmates Inc. – Commissioner of Labor), 2020 NY Slip Op 02094 (NY Ct. App. March 26, 2020), the New York Court of Appeals – which, for non-NY practitioners, is our highest state-level appellate court – held that Postmates couriers are “employees” for purposes of unemployment benefits. This case arises from a…

Read More Court of Appeals: Postmates Couriers Are “Employees” For Purposes of Unemployment Insurance
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On March 19, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.7 (“Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency”), which, inter alia, permits documents to be notarized utilizing audio-video technology through April 18, 2020. The Order provides, in pertinent part: Any notarial act that is required under New…

Read More New York Permits “Virtual” Notarization in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic
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In a recent decision, Greenman v. 2451 Broadway Market, et al, No. 11287, 11287A, 154861/14, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 01962, 2020 WL 1290735 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept., Mar. 19, 2020) – a personal injury trip-and-fall case – the court unanimously reversed and vacated a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor (allocating 75% of the fault to plaintiff…

Read More Evidentiary Errors Result in New Trial on Damages in Trip-and-Fall Personal Injury Case
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In Williams v. Anne Geiger and Department of Education, 2020 WL 1304397 (S.D.N.Y. March 19, 2020), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim asserted under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to establish a hostile work environment claim, plaintiff was required to show two elements: (1) the workplace was permeated with…

Read More Disability-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim Dismissed
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In Bauman v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 2020 NY Slip Op 01964 (App. Div. 1st Dept. March 19, 2020), the court unanimously affirmed the lower court’s Order dismissing (on summary judgment) plaintiff’s claims that he was subjected to religion-based discrimination and retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law. As to plaintiff’s discrimination claim, the…

Read More Religious Discrimination Claim Dismissal Affirmed Against Mt. Sinai Hospital
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The EEOC recently offered information on how the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act may apply in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This document links to a prior document, titled “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act” (written during the H1N1 outbreak), which has been…

Read More EEOC Issues (Updated) Guidance Regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and COVID-19
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