August 2018

The evil of discrimination based on impermissible characteristics pervades many aspects of society (including employment, housing, and public accommodations) and exists in all, or nearly all, industry sectors. Here I will discuss how it arises in connection with the practice of law.[1]I will not discuss gender discrimination arising in the course of an attorney’s employment.…

Read More Gender Discrimination in the Legal Profession

The “Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) is a federal law, codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000ff et seq., that (in a nutshell) “discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.” In enacting GINA, Congress set forth the following findings: Deciphering the sequence of the human genome and…

Read More The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Employment discrimination claims are frequently analyzed pursuant to the well-known McDonnell Douglas[1]McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). burden shifting framework. Under that framework, the plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he is…

Read More Office Relocation as an “Adverse Employment Action”

In employment discrimination cases, defendants sometimes argue, in effect, that unlawful discrimination can not have occurred, since the alleged victim and the alleged discriminator/harasser are in the same “protected class.” The law is to the contrary. For example, in Poliard v. Saintilus Day Care Center, Inc., 11-CV-5174, 2013 WL 1346238, at *4 (E.D.N.Y.,2013), the court noted (albeit…

Read More Discrimination Where Discriminator and Victim Are in the Same Protected Class

In Rice v. Smithtown Volkswagen, 2018 WL 3848923 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2018), the court held that plaintiff sufficiently pleaded claims for “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, hostile work environment sexual harassment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (In this post I will discuss the court’s assessment of plaintiff’s “hostile work…

Read More Hostile Work Environment Claim Stated Against Smithtown Volkswagen

In Rice v. Smithtown Volkswagen, 2018 WL 3848923 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2018), the court held that plaintiff sufficiently pleaded claims for “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, hostile work environment sexual harassment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (In this post I will discuss the court’s assessment of plaintiff’s “quid pro…

Read More Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claim Stated Against Smithtown Volkswagen

New York’s common-law “faithless servant doctrine” provides that “an agent that breaches its fiduciary duty of loyalty to its principal forfeits its right to compensation for the period of its disloyalty.” Supreme Showroom, Inc. v. Branded Apparel Group LLC, 2018 WL 3148357, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. June 27, 2018). As one court explained: New York law…

Read More The “Faithless Servant Doctrine” Under New York Law

Starting September 6, 2018, all New York City employers will be required to display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster and develop a sexual harassment information sheet to be distributed to individual employees at the time of their hire. This amendment, which is part of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, will be codified at N.Y.C. Administrative…

Read More NYC Sexual Harassment Poster Requirement

In Pothen v. StonyBrook University, 2018 WL 3954148 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 15, 2018), the court adopted a Report and Recommendation (R&R) that plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation claims be dismissed. In doing so, the court discussed the so-called “continuing violation” doctrine. From the decision: the Court agrees with the R&R’s conclusion that plaintiff’s claims based on separate,…

Read More Absent Evidence of “Practice or Policy” of Discrimination, Court Declines to Apply “Disfavored” Continuing Violations Doctirine “Continuing Violation” Doctrine Held Inapplicable

In Johnson v IAC/Interactivecorp., No. 155837/2014, 2018 WL 3536599, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 31720(U) (Sup Ct, New York County July 16, 2018), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s claim for gender discrimination. This case illustrates, among other things, that when assessing employment discrimination claims, context counts. From the decision: It is significant here that plaintiff was…

Read More “College Humor” Gender Discrimination Claim Dismissed