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Today an Appellate Division, Third Department panel held, in Yonaty v. Mincolla, that false accusations that one is gay, lesbian, or bisexual no longer qualify as defamation “per se”.  Defamation “per se” does not require proof of economic or pecuniary harm because statements falling into that category “are commonly recognized as injurious by their nature,…

Read More False Accusations of Homosexuality Held Not Defamatory Per Se
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On May 8, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals held, in Sullivan v. Harnisch, that a hedge fund compliance officer who claimed he was fired for internally objecting to allegedly improper sales of stock by the company’s CEO did not have a cause of action for wrongful termination.  Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he was…

Read More No Exception to “At Will” Rule For Hedge Fund Compliance Officer’s Internal Complaint
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In Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises (May 9, 2012), the Second Circuit – addressing two issues of first impression – held that (1) an internal complaint unconnected with an EEOC charge does not give rise to a retaliation claim under Title VII’s “participation” clause and (2) harassment by a company’s proxy or alter-ego deprives the company…

Read More Second Circuit Weighs in on Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims and Proxy / Alter-Ego Liability
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Below is the response filed by Dominique Strauss-Kahn this week in the lawsuit brought against him by Nafissatou Diallo. Defendant’s counterclaims – that is, his affirmative claims against Ms. Nafissatou – begin on page 8.  Specifically, his counterclaim is for damages arising from Ms. Diallo “knowingly and intentionally making a false report to law enforcement…

Read More Dominique Strauss-Kahn Strikes Back Against Hotel Maid
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In Matter of Fermin-Perea v. Swarts, a New York Appellate Division, First Department panel held that it was error to revoke a driver’s license on the basis of a refusal to submit to a chemical test, where a field sobriety test conducted 25 minutes after the stop indicated, contrary to the information contained in the…

Read More Videotaped Field Sobriety Test Trumps Officer’s Observations; License Reinstated
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As summer approaches, one’s thoughts naturally turn to summer-y things, like picnics, pools, barbecues, and, maybe, fireworks.  But, as we all know, fireworks (and similar devices) can be dangerous, and their use may result in serious injuries.  Worse, anyone suffering such injuries may be deprived of a legal remedy under a rule recently applied by…

Read More Decision to “Light Up Some Boom Booms” Precludes Recovery in Negligence
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On May 4th, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated plaintiff Fedie Redd’s sexual harassment / hostile work environment claim against the New York State Division of Parole based on her allegations that a female supervisor, Sarah Washington, inappropriately touched her breasts.  The case is Redd v. New York State Division of Parole, 678 F.3d 166…

Read More Second Circuit Allows Sexual Harassment Claim, Based on Touching of Breasts, To Continue
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In a Southern District of New York complaint, captioned Earl E. Brown v. AIG Investments and John P. Hornbostel, SDNY 12-cv-3243 (4/25/2012), plaintiff, an attorney, alleges claims of race discrimination and retaliation against AIG Global Asset Management Holdings Corp. and managing director John Hornbostel. Among other things, plaintiff asserts that Hornbostel made disparaging comments about African Americans,…

Read More Hey Hey Hey! “Fat Albert” & Other Comments Give Rise to Race Discrimination Lawsuit
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Today the EEOC issued its Enforcement Guidance on the consideration of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unlike New York law, federal law does not specifically prohibit discrimination based on arrest or conviction records.  However, federal law does prohibit discrimination on the basis of…

Read More EEOC Issues Guidance on Employers’ Use of Arrest and Conviction Records Under Title VII
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The EEOC recently issued a final rule amending the regulation (29 C.F.R. § 1625.7) governing the “reasonable factor other than age” (RFOA) defense in “disparate impact” cases brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The defense only applies in “disparate impact” cases and – in line with Supreme Court precedent – not…

Read More EEOC Issues Final Rule on the “Reasonable Factor Other Than Age” Defense to Disparate Impact Age Discrimination Claims Brought Under The ADEA
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