Settlement Agreements

A recent case, Lopez v. Uno Express Cleaners Inc., 18-cv-10737, 2019 WL 6873796 (SDNY Dec. 17, 2019), illustrates how courts evaluate settlement agreements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as mandated by the Second Circuit’s decision in Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 2015). In this case, plaintiff, who was…

Read More FLSA Settlement Rejected in Light of Overbroad Release
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A recent decision, Grant v. Almonte, 2019 NY Slip Op 00057 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Jan. 3, 2019), provides some insight into the mechanics of an “open court” settlement under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules 2104. That statute provides: An agreement between parties or their attorneys relating to any matter in an action, other than…

Read More Marking Court File Did Not Qualify as a CPLR 2104 Stipulation
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Employment discrimination cases are often resolved by settlement – i.e., a negotiated agreement for the parties to discontinue a case on agreed-upon terms. A settlement can be reached either before or after the commencement of litigation. In many, if not most, cases, the agreement will be reduced to a writing and signed by the parties.…

Read More Settling an Employment Discrimination Case: The Agreement
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In Cantey v. Mount Vernon City School District, 16-cv-2669, 2018 WL 3315574 (S.D.N.Y. July 5, 2018), the court dismissed claims asserted by plaintiff -an African American Jehovah’s witness – that she suffered discrimination on the basis of her race and religion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the center of this…

Read More Title VII Claims Barred By Settlement Agreement; Duress Claim Rejected
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Celebrities – they’re just like us! That is one take-away from a recent Eastern District of New York decision, Jones v. Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., a/k/a Busta Rhymes et al, 16-cv-2194, 2018 WL 2227990 (E.D.N.Y. May 14, 2018) (M.J. Levy). There, plaintiff sued Busta Rhymes and Starbus LLC, alleging “that, while employed by defendants as [Busta]’s…

Read More Court Declines to Adopt “Celebrity Exception” to Public Access to Settlement Agreement in Age Discrimination, Wage Lawsuit Against Busta Rhymes
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In Gracia v. City of NY, 16-CV-7329, 2017 WL 4286319 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2017) (J. Caproni), the court held that a release signed by plaintiff – a female NYPD officer – to resolve a personal injury slip-and-fall case was broad enough to encompass claims for gender discrimination sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation. In…

Read More Personal Injury Release Held Broad Enough to Cover Employment Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation Claims
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A recent decision, Smith v. JPMorgan Chase, No. 15 CIV. 808 (PAE), 2016 WL 5339548 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2016), is instructive on the law governing settlement agreements, including those claimed to bar Title VII discrimination claims. In this case, the African American plaintiff alleged that she “was terminated after an internal investigation for a violation of…

Read More Court Holds That Settlement Agreement Was Broad Enough to Include Title VII Claims
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