July 2017

In In re Cohen, No. 522119, 2017 WL 3176221, at *1 (N.Y. App. Div. July 27, 2017), the Appellate Division upheld the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board’s (UIAB) adoption of an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that the claimant (a paralegal) was entitled to unemployment insurance benefits where she voluntarily left her employment in light of a…

Read More Unemployment Benefits Upheld Where Voluntary Departure Was Prompted by a “Hostile Work Environment”

In Fatcheric v. Bartech Grp., Inc., No. 15CV9702, 2017 WL 3084418 (S.D.N.Y. July 19, 2017), the court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of unlawful termination based on her disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.…

Read More Disability Discrimination Claims Survive Summary Judgment, in Light of Dispute as to Whether Working On-Site Was an “Essential Function” of Plaintiff’s Job

In Russell v. Cty. of Rockland, No. 15CV4296, 2017 WL 3189873 (S.D.N.Y. July 26, 2017), the court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s hostile work environment sexual harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State Human Rights Law. The court summarized the law: In order…

Read More Citing Failure to Report Sexual Harassment, Court Grants Summary Judgment to Defendant on Correction Officer’s Hostile Work Environment Claims

Here is the United States’ amicus brief in Zarda v. Altitude Express (2d Cir. 15-3775 July 26, 2017), in which the government argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should not be interpreted to cover employment discrimination based on on employee’s sexual orientation. The government argues, inter alia: The question presented is not…

Read More U.S. Government Files Amicus Brief Arguing Against Interpreting Title VII to Cover Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

In Brantman v. Fortistar Capital, Inc., No. 15-CV-4774 (NSR), 2017 WL 3172864 (S.D.N.Y. July 22, 2017), the court, inter alia, granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s Title VII retaliation claim. Plaintiff, while reviewing and cataloging boxes of files and documents belonging to defendant’s recently-retired general counsel, “found a DVD in a plastic case…

Read More Title VII Retaliation Claim Dismissed; Report of Discovery of “Pornographic Video” Was Not “Protected Activity”

In Chavis v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15 CIV. 4288 (DC), 2017 WL 3037536 (S.D.N.Y. July 18, 2017), the court, inter alia, granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim that she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her religion. Specifically, plaintiff – an Asset Protection Manager at the Suffern Walmart…

Read More Walmart Awarded Summary Judgment on Religion-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim

In Le v. New York State, No. 1:16-CV-1517, 2017 WL 3084414 (N.D.N.Y. July 18, 2017), the court dismissed plaintiff’s Title VII discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims. Plaintiff – a woman of Asian descent – alleged that “defendant has wrongly sided with, and failed to take corrective action against, plaintiff’s co-workers and supervisors, who…

Read More Court Dismisses “Perceived as Muslim” Title VII Discrimination Claim, Among Others

You may have read a recent news story about a group of teens who recorded and mocked a disabled man, Jamel Dunn, as he was drowning. If this happened in New York, could the observers be liable in a civil action to recover damages for personal injury/wrongful death?[1]Whether criminal liability may be found is beyond…

Read More Duty to Help Those in Danger

In Bull v. Metro. Jewish Health Sys., Inc., No. 18128/12, 2017 WL 3045858 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dept. July 19, 2017), the Appellate Division held that the lower court should have dismissed plaintiff’s claims of age and disability discrimination. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, “that the defendant discriminated against her on the basis of her age…

Read More Age, Disability Discrimination Claims Should Have Been Dismissed; Plaintiff Did Not Suffer From a “Disability” At the Time of Her Termination

In McLeod v. The Jewish Guild for the Blind, No. 15-2898-CV, 2017 WL 3049541 (2d Cir. July 19, 2017) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit vacated a lower court’s award of summary judgment to defendant employer on plaintiff’s sexual harassment hostile work environment claim. Among other things, the court reiterated that it is improper for a…

Read More 2d Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment for Defendant on Hostile Work Environment Claim; Warns Lower Courts That All Circumstances Must Be Considered