Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

A recent Southern District decision, James v. NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, illustrates that the anti-discrimination laws are not a “general civility code” and underscores the critical requirement that, in order to be actionable, any alleged discrimination or harassment must be “because of” a protected characteristic (here, the plaintiff’s sex). Plaintiff, a female Special Officer in…

Read More Workplace Slap Was Not “Because Of” Plaintiff’s Sex; Sexual Harassment Claim Dismissed
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In Donohue v. Finkelstein Memorial Library, the Southern District of New York recently denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs’ sexual harassment (hostile work environment) claims. Generally, a plaintiff asserting a hostile work environment claim must establish two things: first, conduct rising to a sufficient level that constitutes a “hostile” or “abusive” working environment, and second,…

Read More SDNY Applies “Alter Ego/Proxy” Theory in Denying Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Case
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In Sarkis v. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, the Second Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claims that he had been subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation in violation of  42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Plaintiff sought…

Read More Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation Claims
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Recently, the Second Circuit held, in Kwan v. Andalex Group, that the district court erroneously granted summary judgment to defendant on plaintiff’s retaliation claims. Plaintiff alleged that she was fired by defendant’s Chief Investment Officer about three weeks after she complained to defendant’s Chief Operations Officer about gender discrimination, namely, by asking him why she was “being…

Read More Pointing to Inconsistent Reasons for Termination, Second Circuit Vacates Dismissal of Retaliation Claims
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In Castagna v. Luceno and Majestic Kitchens, 2014 WL 840820 (Summary Order), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently vacated a district court’s grant of summary judgment to defendants, and held that a reasonable jury could conclude that plaintiff suffered a sex-based hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of…

Read More Physical Threats Directed Solely at Women Supported Claim of Hostile Work Environment Based on Sex
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In Saliba v Five Towns College, the Eastern District of New York held that plaintiff, an assistant professor, failed to state a claim for retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plaintiff alleged that she was terminated solely because she had voiced her concerns regarding rampant corruption in the administration of…

Read More Court Dismisses Professor’s Retaliation Claim Based on Complaints About Another Professor’s Sexual Harassment of Students
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This week in Litzman v. City of New York, Southern District of New York Judge Harold Baer largely sided with plaintiff, Probationary New York City Police Officer Fishel Litzman, in his lawsuit alleging religious discrimination. Plaintiff follows the rules and traditions of the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish community, and his Orthodox Jewish faith prohibits him from…

Read More SDNY Holds That NYPD Failed to Reasonably Accommodate Jewish Officer’s Religious Beliefs
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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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On Friday, the Second Circuit held in Colquitt v. Xerox Corp. (Summary Order) that plaintiff’s employment discrimination claims that were not raised – or “administratively exhausted” – in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were properly dismissed from plaintiff’s lawsuit. In Colquitt, plaintiff alleged that she was subjected to (1) a race-based denial of phone privileges and…

Read More Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Employment Discrimination Claims Not Raised in the EEOC
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On October 28, 2013, the Southern District of New York issued its opinion in Guzman v. NY Post, holding that plaintiff Sandra Guzman presented sufficient evidence to proceed on her hostile work environment, discriminatory termination, and retaliation claims. The decision was (I am sure happily) covered by the Daily News here. Plaintiff is a black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican…

Read More Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment, and Race/National Origin Claims Continue Against New York Post and Col Allan
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