Termination After Showing Employer Sexual Harassment Complaint Supports State Division Award

The Appellate Division, First Department, in Matter of Law Offs. of Oliver Zhou, PLLC v. New York State Div. of Human Rights, 2015 NY Slip Op 04569 (App. Div. 1st Dept. May 28, 2015) recently upheld the determination of the State Division of Human Rights that the petitioners violated the State Human Rights Law.

In a relatively short decision and order, the court determined:

The evidence establishes that the complainant was terminated immediately after she showed her employer a sexual harassment complaint that she filed with DHR, and that, while petitioners claimed there were various nondiscriminatory reasons for the termination, the complainant showed that the reasons were merely a pretext for illegal retaliation.

It also confirmed the following awards: back pay of $5,811, compensatory damages for mental anguish of $10,000, and a civil fine of $1,000.

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