Race/Color Discrimination

The Second Circuit last week issued a summary order granding pro se (i.e., self-represented) plaintiff Diane Robinson an opportunity to amend her complaint alleging employment discrimination and retaliation.  The court’s order in Robinson v. Goulet, 12-3606 (May 17, 2013) is here. Plaintiff alleged that her manager, Peter Goulet, discriminated against her on the basis of her sex…

Read More Second Circuit Gives Pro Se Discrimination Plaintiff Another Chance
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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Below is a picture of President Lyndon Johnson signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – one of the broadest-sweeping pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history – as Dr. King looks on. The date was July 2, 1964. Here’s video. Title VII of that…

Read More The Content of Their Character
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In MacMillan v. Millenium Broadway Hotel (SDNY June 11, 2012), the Southern District of New York found that the plaintiff successfully proved that he was subject to a racially hostile work environment.  While at work plaintiff encountered a voodoo doll with a “black face and pink lips” hanging from a bulletin board by a rope around…

Read More “Voodoo Doll Lynching” Race Discrimination Verdict Upheld
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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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Crump v. NBTY, Inc. et al., 10-cv-632 (WFK) (ETB) (EDNY March 1, 2012) illustrates that even a single, facially neutral (but arguably racist) remark by a supervisor may be enough to proceed to a jury trial on a Title VII discrimination claim. Defendant contended that it fired plaintiff for theft and for improperly using a…

Read More Court Allows Race Discrimination Claim, Based on Single Racist Remark, to Proceed to Jury Trial
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Yesterday SCOTUS granted certiorari in a case brought by a white plaintiff challenging the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in its admission decisions.  The Question Presented, as set forth here, is:  “Whether this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003),…

Read More SCOTUS agrees to hear affirmative action case
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In Wong v. Mangone, the Second Circuit recently affirmed a jury verdict in a case brought by Aaron Wong against James Mangone and upheld awards of $200,000 in damages and more than $167,000 in attorneys’ fees.  Wong (who is black) alleged that Mangone (who is white) assaulted him while hurling racially derogatory language. In particular,…

Read More Second Circuit affirms jury verdict and $200k damage award following racially-motivated scuffle
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In Bennett v. Health Mgt. Sys., Inc., 2011 NY Slip Op. 09206 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. Dec. 20, 2011), the Appellate Division, First Department for the first time provided “an examination of whether, and to what extent, the three-step burden-shifting approach set forth in McDonnell Douglas v Green (411 US 792 [1973]), must be…

Read More Court Clarifies Summary Judgment Analysis For Discrimination Claims Under the New York City Human Rights Law
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In Whitehurst v. 230 Fifth, Inc. et al, 11-cv-0767, Southern District Judge McMahon allowed plaintiffs (all African American) to continue some, but not all, of their race-based claims against popular restaurant/lounge 230 Fifth (located at 230 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan).  Plaintiffs alleged that, after arriving to celebrate a friend’s birthday, they were subjected to discriminatory…

Read More African American Partygoers Can Continue Race Discrimination Suit Against 230 Fifth
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In Nelson v. HSBC Bank USA (Sept. 13, 2011), the Appellate Division, Second Department clarified the standard governing “hostile work environment” discrimination claims – here, based on the plaintiffs’ race – brought under the NYC Human Rights Law.   Following a jury verdict for defendant, the appellate court ordered a new trial, finding that the jury…

Read More Court confirms breadth of hostile work environment claims under NYC Human Rights Law
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