Damages in Employment Cases

In Reynolds v. State, No. 528410, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 00897, 2020 WL 572813 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., Feb. 06, 2020), the court – after upholding a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor on her hostile work environment/sexual harassment and negligent supervision claims – nevertheless found that the jury’s damage award was excessive. The court summarized the…

Read More Damage Award For Hostile Work Environment Held Excessive
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Effective October 11, 2019, the New York State Human Rights Law permits an award of punitive damages in certain employment discrimination cases. The relevant section is codified at NYS Executive Law § 297(4)(c), which provides: If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the commissioner shall find that a respondent has engaged in any unlawful…

Read More NYS Human Rights Law Provides for Punitive Damages in Certain Employment Cases
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In Ravina v. Columbia University and Geert Bekaert, 16-cv-2137, 2019 WL 1450449 (S.D.N.Y. March 31, 2019), a sexual harassment/retaliation case, the court – in addition to denying defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff’s retaliation claim – next evaluated the jury’s damage awards to plaintiff ($750,000 in emotional distress damages, $500,000…

Read More Court Remits $750,000 Award for Emotional Distress Damages in Retaliation/Sexual Harassment Case Against Columbia University
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From Matter of New York State Div. of Human Rights v. International Fin. Servs. Group, 2018 NY Slip Op 04673 (App. Div. 1st Dept. June 26, 2018): Determination of petitioner New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR), dated May 19, 2015, granting the complaint for disability discrimination, awarding complainant $64,436.03 in back pay and $10,000 for…

Read More Disability Discrimination Awards For Back Pay, Emotional Distress Upheld
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In Emamian v. Rockefeller University, 07-cv-3919, 2018 WL 2849700 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2018) – a race/national origin discrimination case – the court held, inter alia, that the jury’s emotional distress damages award of $2 million was excessive, and remitted that award to $200,000. After providing a summary of the relevant “black-letter” law in this area, the…

Read More Court Remits Emotional Distress Damages Award in Employment Discrimination Case From $2M to $200K
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A federal (EDNY / Brooklyn) jury recently awarded several employees a collective $5.1 million in damages against a health insurance company that, the plaintiffs claimed, forced them to follow the practices of an obscure religion called “Onionhead.” (I wrote about the lawsuit’s filing here.) The verdict sheet (below) reflects, inter alia, that the jury awarded…

Read More EDNY Jury Awards $5.1M in “Onionhead” Religious Discrimination Case [EEOC v. United Health Programs of America]
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In Chauca v. Abraham, 2018 WL 1352351 (2d Cir. March 16, 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the district court erred in declining to submit the question of punitive damages to the jury under the New York City Human Rights Law. In a prior opinion,[1]Chauca v. Abraham, 841 F.3d…

Read More 2d Circuit: Lower Court Mistakenly Applied Higher Standard for Punitive Damages Under the NYC Human Rights Law
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In Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 2018 WL 1229831 (S.D.N.Y. March 5, 2018), the court, inter alia, struck down a jury verdict of $563,000 for emotional distress suffered by plaintiff as a result of her alleged retaliatory termination in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). From the Opinion: If Sharkey is…

Read More Court Strikes Down $563K Emotional Distress Damages Jury Verdict in SOX Case as “Infected With Passion and Prejudice”
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In Chauca v. Abraham, 2017 NY Slip Op 08158, 2017 WL 5557932 (N.Y. Nov. 20, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals – answered a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit – regarding the appropriate standard applicable for when punitive damages may be awarded under the New York City Human…

Read More New York’s Highest Court Clarifies Standard for Punitive Damages Under the New York City Human Rights Law
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In Santana et al v. G.E.M. Medical Management (NY Sup. Ct. Bx. Cty 0305261/2008 Oct. 20, 2017), the court (inter alia) denied defendant’s motion, under CPLR 4404(a), to set aside a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs on their claims of gender/pregnancy discrimination. The court noted that “[t]he jury’s determination is supported by evidence presented…

Read More Court Upholds Plaintiff Jury Verdict in Gender/Pregnancy Discrimination Case
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