In employment discrimination law, the phrase “hostile work environment” has a very specific meaning that does not encompass all circumstances that the word “hostile” might suggest. Courts repeatedly say, for example, that the employment laws do not provide a “general civility code” for the workplace. In addition, as set forth below, in order to be actionable, the…Read More What is a “Hostile Work Environment”?
If you feel you are being singled out, bullied, or harassed at work because of one or more protected characteristics – such as your sex, age, race, sexual orientation, or disability – you may feel powerless and confused about what to do and how to proceed. If so, you should keep the following information in…Read More What Should I Do If I Think I’m Being Harassed at Work?
The New York State Division of Human Rights recently awarded substantial damages to a corrections officer who alleged that she suffered a hostile work environment and that her supervisor turned a blind eye to what was going on. The recommended findings of fact, opinion and decision, and order in Lora Abbott Seabury v. Rensselaer County et…Read More Supervisor’s Inaction Leads to Substantial Award for Victim of Sexual Harassment
Last week in Kelly v. Howard I. Shapiro & Associates Consulting Engineers, P.C. the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s retaliation claims. The facts, however, are not quite typical: [Plaintiff] quit her job as a human resources manager at her family business after complaining about an affair that one of her brothers, a vice president…Read More Second Circuit Rejects “Sexual Favoritism” Claim And Clarifies The “Objectively Reasonable Belief” Element Of Retaliation
Mihalik v. Credit Agricole Cheuvreux N. Am., Inc., decided by the Second Circuit today, again illustrates the breadth of the New York City Human Rights Law’s protections against employment discrimination and retaliation. The Second Circuit vacated the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment to defendant and remanded the case for trial. Plaintiff alleged that her supervisor [CEO…Read More Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Based On “Boys’ Club” Atmosphere Proceeds To Trial
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. The transcript is below. I had previously written about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case (including the issues to be discussed) here. The issue is whether a plaintiff seeking to prove retaliation under Title…Read More SCOTUS Hears Oral Argument On Title VII Retaliation Issue
In Novak v. Waterfront Comm’n of NY Harbor (SDNY March 1, 2013), the Southern District dismissed plaintiff’s sexual harassment claim. What makes this case unique is that the alleged harasser was the plaintiff’s ex-boyfriend. The court reiterated that “[t]he sine qua non of a gender-based discriminatory action claim under Title VII is that ‘the discrimination must…Read More Unfair Treatment Was Due To Failed Romantic Relationship And Was Not “Because of Sex”
In Mobley v. Madison Square Garden LP et al, 11-cv-8290 (SDNY March 15, 2013) (J. Batts), the Southern District of New York held that pro basketball player Cuttino Mobley plausibly stated disability discrimination claims under the New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law against various Madison Square Garden entities. …Read More Cuttino Mobley’s Disability Discrimination Claims Survive
In Cid v. ASA Institute of Business & Computer Technology, Inc., the Eastern District of New York found that plaintiff stated plausible claims for hostile work environment and retaliation (as well as aiding and abetting against individual defendants). Plaintiff claimed that her supervisor made unwelcome sexual comments, gave her unwanted gifts, and asked her out, and…Read More Plaintiff Plausibly Alleges Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, and Aiding/Abetting Claims
Last week in Parisi v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., the Second Circuit held that the trial court should have granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration of claims brought by former managing director Lisa Parisi – who is one of three women suing Goldman – that she was subjected to gender discrimination. She contends that defendant…Read More 2nd Circuit: Under Title VII “Pattern or Practice” Refers to a Method of Proof, Not a Substantive Right