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Although unpaid interns recently obtained a court victory on the wage and hour front (i.e., a ruling that they are “employees” under federal and state wage/hour laws), Southern District Judge P. Kevin Castel recently issued them a defeat on the discrimination/harassment front. In Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television US Inc., the court dismissed an intern’s…

Read More Court Holds That Unpaid Interns Are Not Protected From Sexual Harassment Under the New York City Human Rights Law
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The Appellate Division, Second Department recently affirmed (in Paredes v. 1668 Realty Assoc.) summary judgment for plaintiff on his New York Labor Law § 240(1) cause of action. Labor Law § 240(1) is a powerful statute that provides significant protections for injured construction workers in New York.  As explained by the court: The primary purpose…

Read More Masonry Worker Struck By Debris-Filled Bucket Wins on Liability Under Labor Law § 240(1)
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The Northern District of New York recently held, in Wilkie v. The Golub Corp., that a diabetic truck driver (1) failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and (2) was not a “qualified individual with a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A physician responsible for performing Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals for truck drivers…

Read More Court Dismisses Diabetic Truck Driver’s Disability Discrimination Claims
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In Doerr v. Goldsmith, the First Department recently allowed plaintiff’s injury claim, arising from an animal encounter, to proceed on a theory of negligence. In sum, the court held that the focus (at least in cases where an allegation of “vicious propensity” is not advanced) is on the dog’s humans, rather than the dog. Plaintiff…

Read More Court Allows Negligence Claim Against Dog’s Owner to Continue
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In Declercq v. WWP Office LLC, 2013 NY Slip Op 51552(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Sept. 24, 2013), the court awarded partial summary judgment to plaintiff on his claim that he was injured after falling from a ladder. The court’s decision provides a good overview of the law under Labor Law § 240(1), and in particular…

Read More Employee Who Fell From Ladder While Cleaning Wins On Liability Under New York Labor Law § 240(1)
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In Terry v. County of Cayuga, decided Sept. 30, 2013, the Northern District of New York denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim that she was subjected to retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Plaintiff, an attorney, was fired the day she returned from her two-week FMLA leave. The FMLA entitles…

Read More FMLA Retaliation Claim Continues, Despite “Extensive Evidence” of Performance Issues
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In a recent rear-end collision case, Neat v. Pfeffer, Supreme Court, New York County (Judge Bluth) allowed defendant’s expert Dr. Fijan, a biomechanical engineer, to testify “as to the forces involved in the accident” but not “as to whether those forces could have caused plaintiff’s injuries.” The court reached this determination following a so-called Frye hearing to…

Read More Biomechanical Expert Permitted to Testify as to Forces, But Not Injuries
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The New York City Council recently (and unanimously) passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will broaden the New York City Human Rights Law to include enhanced protections for pregnant workers.  (You can read more about the new legislation on the City Council’s website; Think Progress also summarizes it here.) The New York City Human Rights Law…

Read More New York City Council Passes “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act”
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In Matter of Allstate Insurance Co. v. Reyes, the Appellate Division, Second Department addressed the “ownership, maintenance or use” requirement necessary to trigger supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage in connection with a car-related injury. Plaintiff was injured while passing a vehicle when a rottweiler dog “extended its head from inside the vehicle and bit her…

Read More Car Dog Bite Fails to Trigger SUM Coverage
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In Hanifan v Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, a federal court recently granted summary judgment for a defendant employer, holding that the company handbook did not create a an enforceable contractual prohibition against retaliation for violating the handbooks’ terms. This decision confirms the narrow circumstances under which an employee handbook creates contractual rights justifying a deviation…

Read More Employer Handbook Did Not Create Contractual Rights
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