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Severance Agreements

In Chandler v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. et al, 2018 WL 357294 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2018), the court dismissed plaintiff’s claims of, inter alia, sexual harassment. In an attempt to evade dismissal, plaintiff argued that the terms of the Separation Agreement and Release she executed “have been invalidated due to the actions of Defendant” […]

In Ruiz v. Lenox Hill Hosp., No. 160377/15, 2017 WL 213802 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. Jan. 19, 2017), the First Department affirmed (in part) a lower court’s decision addressing plaintiff’s claims under New York’s general and health-care whistleblower laws (N.Y. Labor Law §§ 740 and 741) Here are plaintiff’s allegations, as summarized by the court: […]

In Cohen v. National Grid USA, 2016 NY Slip Op 05786 (App. Div. 2nd Dept. Aug. 17, 2016), the court stated and applied the following employment law principle: Provisions contained in company policy manuals which, like the one in this case, can be amended or withdrawn unilaterally, do not constitute enforceable obligations owing from an employer to […]

In O’Grady v. Bluecrest Capital Mgmt. LLP, No. 15-CV-1108 SHS, 2015 WL 3740701 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2015), the court dismissed, under FRCP 12(b)(6), plaintiff’s claims for a bonus and severance pay. This case illustrates that courts will look to the terms of an employee’s employment agreement when assessing those claims. As to plaintiff’s claim for a […]

Now this requires chutzpah. A New York appellate court recently struck down plaintiffs’ attempt to sue their former employer for employment discrimination – three years after they received money pursuant to a settlement agreement.  The case is Allen v. The Riese Organization, decided May 16, 2013. Under New York law, there is no independent obligation (i.e., absent a contractual obligation) to […]

In Malinowski v. Wall Street Source, Inc., 09 Civ. 9592 (PAE) (SDNY Dec. 2, 2011), NYLJ 1202534751470, the Southern District of New York held that evidence of plaintiff’s post-termination wages was inadmissible in light of the severance clause in plaintiff’s contract (which provided that plaintiff could only be fired for cause). Plaintiff sought unpaid wages, […]

In Ridinger v. Dow Jones & Co. Inc., 651 F.3d 309 (2d Cir. 2011), the Second Circuit affirmed an SDNY decision dismissing plaintiff’s complaint alleging age discrimination under the ADEA.  Defendant argued that plaintiff’s claims were barred by a Separation Agreement under which plaintiff agreed to waive all claims (including those under the ADEA) against defendant.  Plaintiff argued […]