Employment Discrimination Claims Properly Dismissed on Ground of Collateral Estoppel, in Light of Article 78 Determination

In Rosenthal v. Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation et al, No. 1105, 154096/21, 2022-03686, 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 06103, 2023 WL 8193191 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept., Nov. 28, 2023), the First Department affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s discrimination claims on the grounds of collateral estoppel

From the decision:

Plaintiff is collaterally estopped from asserting claims of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law (State HRL), and the New York City Human Rights Law (City HRL). In a prior article 78 proceeding, plaintiff challenged the termination of her employment, making allegations of race discrimination identical to those underlying the Title VII, State HRL, and City HRL claims in this action (see Matter of Khan v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 144 AD3d 600, 602 [1st Dept 2016], lv denied 29 NY3d 905 [2017] ). The article 78 court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding, finding that defendant Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation had a rational basis for terminating plaintiff’s employment.
This Court affirmed the dismissal, determining that “the findings of [defendants’] investigation constitute legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for [plaintiff’s] termination, and serve to defeat the claims of discrimination and racial animus raised in the petition” (Matter of Rosenthal v Roosevelt Is. Operating Corp., 209 AD3d 598, 598 [1st Dept 2022] ).

Based on this, the court concluded that “not only has plaintiff already had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the discrimination claims in the prior article 78 proceeding, but those claims were necessarily decided.”

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