Court: WDNY

In Cullen v. Verizon Communications, No. 14-CV-464S, 2014 WL 6627494 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 21, 2014), the Western District of New York dismissed, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), plaintiff’s complaint alleging disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended) (ADA) and the New York State Human Rights Law. Here are the facts,…

Read More Recent Court Decision is Instructive as to the Circumstances Under Which Alcoholism Constitutes a “Disability” Under the Anti-Discrimination Statutes
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In Scott-Iverson v. Independent Health Ass’n., 13-cv-0451 (W.D.N.Y. July 7, 2014), the court adopted a report and recommendation that plaintiff’s race- and sex-based hostile work environment claims may proceed. Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that: In approximately October 1999, [the Defendant] held an employee appreciation day around Halloween and [one of Plaintiff’s co-workers] dressed up…

Read More Offensive “Aunt Jemima” Halloween Costume Supports Hostile Work Environment/Race Discrimination Claim
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In Valleriani v. Route 390 Nissan (filed Sept. 2, 2014), the Western District of New York denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s gender-based hostile work environment claim: [T]o constitute gender discrimination in the form of a hostile work environment, the conduct directed at Plaintiff had to be based on her gender. Here, the incidents…

Read More Content, Rather Than Motivation, for Sexually Offensive Language is Relevant in Hostile Work Environment Case, According to Court
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In Semmler v. County of Monroe, decided August 6, 2014, the Western District of New York reiterated that not all complaints of perceived discrimination will constitute “protected activity” necessary to make out a claim of retaliation. Specifically: A plaintiff cannot establish a prima facie case of retaliation [under Title VII] unless she has engaged in protected activity.…

Read More Not Every Complaint of Discrimination is “Protected Activity” Sufficient to Give Rise to a Retaliation Claim
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In Battle v. Carroll, the Western District of New York denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s Title VII race discrimination claim. Plaintiff Ola Battle, a black woman, worked for 17 years as a Holiday Inn housekeeper until she was fired following an expletive-laced confrontation with her supervisor, David Carroll, in which she told him…

Read More Supervisor’s “You People” Remark Supports Race Discrimination Claim
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In Lehman v. Bergmann Associates (decided March 31, 2014), the Western District of New York held that plaintiff adequately pleaded some, but not other, employment discrimination claims. The case provides a good review of federal pleading standards for various employment-related claims. Plaintiff alleged that she was the first woman to hold a senior management position at…

Read More Court Provides Guidance on Pleading Employment Discrimination Claims
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In a decision illustrating New York’s strong public policy favoring an employee’s right to earn a living free from contractual restrictions, an upstate New York federal court recently rejected a company’s attempt to enforce a non-competition provision against a departing employee. The decision is Veramark Technologies Inc v. Bouk, decided April 2, 2014. After one-time Veramark employee…

Read More Court Rejects Employer’s Request for Preliminary Injunction Against Departing Employee and New Employer
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What does it mean to have a lot of Facebook friends?  According to one federal judge, not much. In In re Air Crash Near Clarence Ctr., WDNY 09-md-2085 (Nov. 18, 2013), which arose from the February 12, 2009 crash of Flight 3407, defendant sought production of the Facebook “friend list” of Kevin Guo. Kevin, whose father died in…

Read More Your (Facebook) Friends Are Irrelevant
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Below and here is the complaint recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York by sewer maintenance worker Lisa Sprada against her employer, the Town of Cheektowaga. (News coverage here and here.) The case is captioned Sprada v. Town of Cheektowaga, WDNY 13-00985. Plaintiff alleges that upon transferring into her…

Read More Female Sewer Maintenance Worker’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
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