Emotional Distress Damages in Employment Cases

Taxes. The second thing in the oft-quoted sardonic/cynical short list of things that are certain in this life. If and when the settlement of an employment discrimination claim is discussed, consideration must be given to the tax implication of any such settlement, both to the payor employer and payee employee. (For this purpose a tax…

Read More Employment Settlement Subject to Taxation; Did Not Qualify For Section 104(a)(2) “Personal Physical Injuries or Physical Sickness” Exclusion
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In Lopez v. Mama’s Fried Chicken, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 01124 (NY App. Div. 1st Dept. Feb. 22, 2022) – involving claims of failure to pay wages, sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation – the First Department unanimously affirmed a lower court’s Order denying defendant’s motion to vacate a default judgment entered in plaintiff’s favor.…

Read More Sexual Harassment Default Judgment Upheld; “Law Office Failure” Argument Rejected
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In Quintero v. Angels of the World, Inc., 19-CV-6126, 2021 WL 4464123 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 10, 2021), the court, inter alia, assessed emotional distress damages to be awarded to plaintiff (an exotic dancer), upon defendants’ default, on her claims of race-based discrimination and hostile work environment, hostile work environment sexual harassment, among others. The court summarized…

Read More Exotic Dancer Awarded $30,000 in Emotional Distress Damages Upon Defendants’ Default in Sexual Harassment Case
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In Antoine v. Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. et al, 19-cv-5676, 2020 WL 5752186 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2020), the court, inter alia, awarded a sexual harassment plaintiff $200,000 in emotional distress damages (on default). This case involves shocking allegations of harassment, including on one occasion conduct that the court described as “tantamount to rape.” As to…

Read More $200,000 Emotional Distress Award in Sexual Harassment Case Against Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. and Individual Defendant
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In Angulo v. 36th Street Hospitality LLC, 2020 WL 4936961 (S.D.N.Y. August 24, 2020), a sexual harassment/hostile work environment case, the court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s Report & Recommendation (R&R) of damages to be awarded following the defendant’s default. Plaintiff’s allegations, as summarized by the court, are as follows: Plaintiff previously worked as a waitress…

Read More Sexual Harassment Plaintiff’s Damage Award Adopted by Court
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In Emamian v. Rockefeller University, 2020 WL 4811383 (2d Cir. Aug. 19, 2020) (Summary Order) – a race/national origin employment discrimination case – the court (inter alia) affirmed the district court’s remittitur of the jury’s $2 million award of damages for emotional distress to $200,000. From the decision: Emamian argues that the district court erred…

Read More Second Circuit Upholds Remittitur of Jury’s Award of $2 Million to $200,000 for Emotional Distress Damages in Employment Discrimination Case
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In Matter of Chaplin v .New York State Div. of Human Rights, 2020 NY Slip Op 04302 (App. Div. 2d Dept. July 29, 2020), the Appellate Division, Second Department confirmed the New York State Division of Human Rights’ award of $5,000 for compensatory damages for mental anguish, and no damages for, inter alia, lost income,…

Read More Court Denies Petition Seeking Review of $5k Award in Employment Discrimination/Retaliation Case
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In Sooroojballie v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 2020 WL 2988851 (2d Cir. June 4, 2020) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit, inter alia, held that the jury’s emotional damages awarded by the jury ($2,160,000) on plaintiff’s race- and national origin-based hostile work environment claim was excessive, and determined that $250,000 was more appropriate.…

Read More Court Remits $2.16 Million Jury Verdict to $250,000 in Race/National Origin Hostile Work Environment Case
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In Small v. Cuer, 2020 WL 2215585 (2d Cir. May 7, 2020) (Summary Order), a sexual harassment case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that, inter alia, largely upheld a substantial jury award in plaintiff’s favor for emotional distress and punitive damages. The jury had awarded $1.55…

Read More 2d Circuit Upholds Substantial Emotional Distress and Punitive Damages Awards in Sexual Harassment Case
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In a recent case, Abreu v. Verizon New York, Inc. et al, 15-cv-00058 (EDNY March 25, 2020), the court – following a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor on his claims of race discrimination and retaliation – held, inter alia, that the jury’s award of $750,000 for emotional distress was too high, and held that $200,000…

Read More Emotional Distress Damages Remitted From $750,000 to $200,000 in Employment Discrimination Case
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