2013

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

Yesterday the Appellate Division, in Cuentas v. Sephora USA, affirmed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to a construction worker plaintiff on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim.  While working on a 6-foot tall, A-frame ladder (example pictured), plaintiff lost his balance and fell, sustaining injuries. The standards for evaluating a Labor Law §…

Read More Summary Judgment For Plaintiff, Who Fell From Ladder, Under Labor Law § 240(1)

In a recently-issued summary order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, on summary judgment, of plaintiff’s hostile work environment, retaliation, and race, gender, and disability discrimination claims.  The case, Solomon v. Southampton Union Free School District, No. 11-3935-cv, 2012 WL 6097357 (Dec. 10, 2012), illustrates yet again…

Read More In Hostile Work Environment Cases, Context Counts

Last week in Simmons-Grant v. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, the Southern District of New York held that defendant law firm did not engage in race discrimination against an African American contract attorney.  Plaintiff argued that, as an African American attorney, she was given less lucrative work than other non-African American contract attorneys retained…

Read More Court Dismisses Attorney’s Race Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Against Law Firm

Employment cases are often difficult to prove, and even the best-intentioned litigants with objectively reasonable factual and legal support for their claim(s) sometimes lose.  It happens.  Case outcomes are very difficult to predict, due to a variety of factors. A Memorandum and Order issued by Southern District Judge J. Paul Oetken last week in Tucker…

Read More Federal Judge Slams Lawyer For Making Baseless Allegations In Employment Case

In a recent case, Chenzira v. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Med. Ctr., an Ohio federal court found that plaintiff stated a claim for religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Defendant fired plaintiff because plaintiff refused to get a flu shot.  Plaintiff alleged that this “violated her religious and philosophical convictions…

Read More Broccoli Worship? Federal Court Finds That Veganism Can Be A “Religion” Under Title VII

In Hernandez v. Kaisman, 2012 NY Slip Op 09191 [103 AD3d 106], the Appellate Division, First Department recently clarified that hostile work environment claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) must be analyzed separately from, and more broadly than, similar claims brought under state and federal law. In this case the motion court…

Read More First Department Reinstates Plaintiff’s Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Claims Under the NYC Human Rights Law

The Second Circuit yesterday, in Swartz v. Insogna, vacated a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s claims allegedly arising from giving police the middle finger.  (This is not the first time we have chronicled middle finger-inspired litigation.)  In its first footnote, the court briefly summarized the history of “giving the finger”, citing a case and a law review article discussing…

Read More Middle Finger Plaintiff Can Continue Suit Against Arresting Officers