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In Connolly v. Napoli Kaiser Bern LLP, 2012 NY Slip Op 50075(U) (NY Sup Ct. NY Cty. 105224/05) (J. Madden), the court held that plaintiff (an attorney) presented sufficient evidence – pursuant to the narrow public policy exception to the “at-will” employment rule established by the Court of Appeals in Wieder v. Skala, 80 NY2d…

Read More Lawyer’s Wrongful Termination Suit Survives Under Narrow Public Policy Exception to “At Will” Employment Rule

A state appellate court recently held that the New York statute that requires certain health clubs in the State of New York to provide an automated external defibrillator (AED) device, as well as a person trained in its use, also imposes an affirmative duty of care upon said clubs so as to give rise to…

Read More “Death by Gym” Less Likely Now – Court Imposes Affirmative Duty to Use Defibrillator

Last Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court (scroll down for decision) explored the interaction between the laws prohibiting employment discrimination (here, the ADA), on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, on the other. The Supreme Court Recognizes…

Read More Supreme Court Recognizes “Ministerial Exception” to Anti-Discrimination Laws

In Hazen v. Hill Betts & Nash, 2012 WL 19388 (Jan. 5, 2012), the Appellate Division (First Dept.) applied the principle “that the New York State Human Rights Law does not immunize disabled employees from discipline or discharge for incidents of misconduct in the workplace”. Attorney Hazen charged hotel rooms, limousines, alcohol, adult movies and…

Read More Bipolar lawyer’s “disability” does not excuse misconduct

In Cerciello v. Admiral Ins. Brokerage Corp., plaintiff alleged sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation.  Defendants filed two counterclaims, respectively seeking (1) sanctions for frivolous litigation conduct and (2) “recovery of wages paid to the plaintiff during her last year of employment on the ground … that the plaintiff failed to perform the tasks…

Read More Court Denies Employer Recovery of Wages Earned by Alleged Disloyal Employee

In my plaintiff-centric practice, my opening move – or rather, in keeping with the “litigation is war” analogy, “shot across the bow” – is, more often than not, a demand letter. At worst, such a letter will be ignored by one’s adversary; at best, it may lead to a lucrative settlement before litigation expenses kick…

Read More Demand Letter Accusing Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd of Sexual Harassment

In Wong v. Mangone, the Second Circuit recently affirmed a jury verdict in a case brought by Aaron Wong against James Mangone and upheld awards of $200,000 in damages and more than $167,000 in attorneys’ fees.  Wong (who is black) alleged that Mangone (who is white) assaulted him while hurling racially derogatory language. In particular,…

Read More Second Circuit affirms jury verdict and $200k damage award following racially-motivated scuffle

In Nagle v. Marron et al. (decided Dec. 12, 2011), the Second Circuit vacated a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a schoolteacher (Nancy Nagle) who alleged, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, that she was denied tenure and terminated in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights – namely, reporting a fellow teacher for abusing students…

Read More Second Circuit Vacates Discmissal of Teacher’s First Amendment Retaliation Claim

Scott v. WPIX, Inc., 10 Civ. 4622 (SDNY Dec. 21, 2011) (WHP):  The Southern District denied defendant’s motions for summary judgment seeking dismissal of plaintiff Karen Scott’s age discrimination claim under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), and the New York City Human Rights Law…

Read More Federal court denies summary judgment and allows plaintiff’s federal, state, and city age discrimination claims to continue

In a 42-page opinion issued last week (copy below), Southern District Judge Colleen McMahon held that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (“OSHA”) crane regulations did not preempt the New York City Building Code’s crane regulations (codified at Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code).  According to the Court, OSHA “is a…

Read More Federal Court rules that New York City statutes and regulations governing construction cranes are not preempted by OSHA regulations