Lawyer Lacks Standing to Assert Retaliation Claim, Court Holds

In Wigdor v. SoulCycle, LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 04118 (App. Div. 1st Dept. May 26, 2016), the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the dismissal of attorney Doug Wigdor’s retaliation claim against SoulCycle.

In his complaint, which I wrote about here, Mr. Wigdor alleged that SoulCycle banned him from its premises after he filed a complaint alleging violations of, e.g., the New York Labor Law on behalf of his client against the company.

In dismissing his retaliation claim, the court explained:

Labor Law § 215(1)(a), which prohibits an “employer” from retaliating against an “employee” for engaging in protected activities, was clearly intended to provide employees with a cause of action against their current and former employers. Accordingly, plaintiff, an attorney who filed an action against SoulCycle, LLC and other entities, on behalf of a client, alleging, inter alia, wage violations of New York and California labor laws, lacks standing to bring a Labor Law § 215 against defendants, who never employed him.

The court also held that the lower court properly dismissed his cause of action for prima facie tort, since he “failed to plead that ‘disinterested malevolence’ was defendants’ sole motive in banning him from SoulCycle facilities.”

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