Allegation of “Anti-Female Bias” Insufficient to Overturn State Division of Human Rights Dismissal of Gender Discrimination Claim

In In the Matter of Shannon Scheuneman v. NYS Div. of Human Rights and Town of Tonawanda, No. TP 16-00820, 2017 WL 539266 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dept. Feb. 10, 2017), the Appellate Division unanimously confirmed, under N.Y. Executive Law § 298, a determination by the New York State Division of Human Rights that the petitioner was not subject to gender discrimination.

From the decision:

We conclude that there is substantial evidence to support the determination that petitioner was not discriminated against on the basis of her gender. We agree with SDHR [New York State Division of Human Rights] that petitioner met her burden of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination based on her gender when she was not promoted to a position with respondent Town of Tonawanda (Town). We further agree with SDHR, however, that the Town presented a legitimate, independent and nondiscriminatory reason to support its decision to offer the position to another employee. Although petitioner contends that her testimony showed that members of the Town Board, who made the hiring decision, have an “anti-female bias,” her testimony conflicted with the Town’s proof and presented an issue of credibility to be resolved by the ALJ [Administrative Law Judge].

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