Retaliation Claim Continues Against EmblemHealth; Summary Judgment Denial Affirmed

In Cook v. EmblemHealth Servs. Co., LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 08433 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Dec. 11, 2018), the First Department unanimously affirmed the denial of defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s retaliation claim under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

The temporal proximity between plaintiff’s complaints to his employer that he was subjected to racial stereotyping and discrimination and the termination of his employment in close succession to his last complaint is sufficient to raise an inference of a causal connection between plaintiff’s protected activity and the disadvantaging employment action taken against him (see Harrington v City of New York, 157 AD3d 582, 585-586 [1st Dept 2018]; Krebaum v Capital One, N.A., 138 AD3d 528, 528-529 [1st Dept 2016]; Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-107[7]). Viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the record provides additional support for an inference of retaliation in the fact that defendants never investigated, or even acknowledged, plaintiff’s final complaint and the fact that plaintiff was terminated for conduct comparable to his supervisee’s conduct, for which the supervisee only received a mild reprimand.