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Frequently, plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases will attempt to prove discrimination by reference to comments or remarks that allegedly demonstrate discriminatory intent. For the purpose of evaluating such evidence, courts have developed the “stray remarks” doctrine. The court in Luka v. Bard College, 2017 WL 2839641 (SDNY June 29, 2017) (J. Carter) recently explained: As a […]

One of the various types of damages available in an employment discrimination case is so-called “emotional distress” damages, which are a species of “compensatory” damages. Such damages are available under (for example) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), and the New York City Human Rights […]

The term “reasonable accommodation” has a specific meaning in employment law. It arises in the context of disability discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and religious discrimination. Here I will discuss its meaning in the context of disability discrimination by an employer against an employee or job applicant. The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. […]

One common type of personal injury case involves someone being injured as a result of tripping and falling on someone’s property, resulting in injury. In these so-called “trip-and-fall” cases, courts have developed and applied the “trivial defect” doctrine. The Law In determining whether a defect is “trivial” as a matter of law, the court must […]

One frequently-occurring personal injury case is the so-called “slip-and-fall” case, which in turn is a species of “premises liability” claims. One court[1]Decker v. Middletown Walmart Supercenter Store, No. 15 CIV. 2886 (JCM), 2017 WL 568761 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2017) recently summarized the law as follows: In New York, [t]o establish a prima facie case of […]

Proving employment discrimination is no easy task. Over time, courts have developed an analytical method for evaluating such claims. Proving Employment Discrimination With “Indirect” or “Circumstantial” Evidence When a plaintiff alleges employment discrimination based on indirect, or circumstantial, evidence, courts employ the “burden-shifting” framework set out in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 […]

Duty to Help Those in Danger

by mjpospis on July 24, 2017

in Articles, Personal Injury

You may have read a recent news story about a group of teens who recorded and mocked a disabled man, Jamel Dunn, as he was drowning. If this happened in New York, could the observers be liable in a civil action to recover damages for personal injury/wrongful death?[1]Whether criminal liability may be found is beyond […]

The Litigation Process

by mjpospis on March 19, 2017

in Articles, Litigation

Every legal case is different. This is because there essentially is an infinite permutation of facts and circumstances that may give rise to a legal claim. Changing even one (seemingly inconsequential) fact, and you might very well get a different result. That said, lawsuits all have the same basic structure. Here I’ll outline the basic […]

One employer action that may, under certain circumstances, give rise to an employment discrimination claim is the implementation of a so-called “English only” policy. It has been reported, for example, that one North Carolina employer has implemented such a policy. The EEOC takes the position that English-only rules “violate the law unless the employer can show […]

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of (among other protected characteristics) “sex.” The term “sexual harassment” typically conjures up images of a male boss acting inappropriately towards a female subordinate. This is one, but not the only, […]