Hostile Work Environment

A recent New York trial court decision again underscores the breadth of the New York City Human Rights Law.  The case is Davis v. Phoenix Ancient Art, decided April 22, 2013. There, plaintiff Emily Davis alleged that she was subjected to sexual harassment and constructively discharged. Plaintiff’s allegations: [I]n September 2010, while at an art…

Read More NYC Human Rights Law Claims Continue, While State Human Rights Law Claims Fail

A federal court last week struck down an employment discrimination defendant’s attempt to obtain broad-ranging discovery from plaintiff in her Title VII gender discrimination, hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and retaliation case. The court’s decision in Kennedy v. Contract Pharmaceutical Corp. is here. Social Media Document Requests Social media is everywhere, and much has been written on…

Read More Court Rejects Defendants’ Attempts to Obtain Social Media Discovery From Discrimination Plaintiff

In employment discrimination law, the phrase “hostile work environment” has a very specific meaning that does not encompass all circumstances that the word “hostile” might suggest. Courts repeatedly say, for example, that the employment laws do not provide a “general civility code” for the workplace. In addition, as set forth below, in order to be actionable, the…

Read More What is a “Hostile Work Environment”?

In Malik v. American International Group, Inc., the Supreme Court, Queens County denied defendants’ summary judgment motions regarding a number of plaintiff’s claims, including sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment), race discrimination, and disability discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law. Time Bar and Continuing Violation Doctrine Defendants argued that plaintiff’s claims…

Read More Issues of Fact Preclude Summary Judgment for Defendant on Sex, Race, and Disability Discrimination Claims

The New York State Division of Human Rights recently awarded substantial damages to a corrections officer who alleged that she suffered a hostile work environment and that her supervisor turned a blind eye to what was going on. The recommended findings of fact, opinion and decision, and order in Lora Abbott Seabury v. Rensselaer County et…

Read More Supervisor’s Inaction Leads to Substantial Award for Victim of Sexual Harassment

Last week in Kelly v. Howard I. Shapiro & Associates Consulting Engineers, P.C. the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s retaliation claims.  The facts, however, are not quite typical: [Plaintiff] quit her job as a human resources manager at her family business after complaining about an affair that one of her brothers, a vice president…

Read More Second Circuit Rejects “Sexual Favoritism” Claim And Clarifies The “Objectively Reasonable Belief” Element Of Retaliation

In a recent case, Shavuo v. Shinseki, the Southern District of New York highlighted the often-misunderstood difference between a work environment that may seem “hostile” and a  “hostile work environment” (as that term is used in employment discrimination law). The court stated: With respect to Shavuo’s repeated references to a “hostile work environment,” we again…

Read More When A Work Environment That Seems Hostile Isn’t A “Hostile Work Environment”

Below is the complaint filed last week by paralegal (and law school graduate but not yet admitted attorney) against the Law Firm of Ray & Associates and its principal attorney James Ray. Plaintiff alleges violations of various laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York City Human Rights Law. While plaintiff asserts…

Read More Polygamy and Pornography: More Lawyers (Allegedly) Behaving Badly