- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- The Fair Labor Standards Act
- New York State Labor Law
- Administrative Proceedings
- Breach of Employment Agreements
- Preparation of Employment Agreements
- Consultation on Employment Law Issues
- Investigation of Harassment Complaints
SECOND CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISMISSAL OF SERGEANT’S DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION LAWSUIT AGAINST FORMER POLICE CHIEF
In Garvey v. Town of Clarkstown, a former police Sergeant alleged the Town and its Chief of Police discriminated and retaliated against him by removing him from the payroll and not providing him a reasonable accommodation after a hearing officer declared he was not entitled to 207-c benefits. U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, agreeing that plaintiff was not a “qualified individual with a disability” to place him within the protections of the ADA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision.
Leo Dorfman and Chelsea Weisbord drafted the successful motion and appellate brief.
FEDERAL JURY FINDS FOR POLICE LIEUTENANT IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE
In Cosgrove v. Hasper, two female plaintiffs sued their former supervisor, a retired Suffolk County Police lieutenant, for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation under state and federal law. After a two-week federal trial before District Judge Joseph L. Bianco, the jury quickly returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
Mark Radi successfully defended Lieutenant Hasper at trial.
SOKOLOFF STERN WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN FEDERAL SEXUAL ORIENTATION LAWSUIT
In Radice v. Eastport South Manor Central School District, a longstanding, part-time athletic trainer alleged the decision to create a full-time position and award it to someone else was discriminatory and retaliatory. The court dismissed various claims at the pre-answer stage. United States District Judge Gary R. Brown granted Sokoloff Stern’s summary judgment motion, dismissing plaintiff’s remaining claim which alleged a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The Court found the school district provided legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for its personnel decisions, which preceded plaintiff’s complaint and could not give rise to a retaliation claim.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Chelsea Weisbord defended the District and its officials throughout the litigation.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS NO RACE OR NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION AT A NURSING HOME AND REHABILITATION CENTER
In Dessources, the N.Y.S. Division of Human Rights found that a nursing home and rehabilitation center had not discriminated against the complainant on account of her race or national origin when it terminated her for longstanding performance issues documented with formal write ups and suspensions.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Chelsea Weisbord successfully defended the facility.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS NO DISCRIMINATION WHERE SIMILAR EMPLOYEE IS TREATED SIMILARLY
In Nieves-Rosario, the N.Y.S. Division of Human Rights dismissed complainant’s racial discrimination claims against a retail design company, finding he was treated the same as another similarly situated employee of a different race, who had to wait an additional month to be evaluated for permanent placement.
Leo Dorfman and Vernée C. Pelage defended the design company.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS TOWN DID NOT DISCRIMINATE OR RETALIATE AGAINST LOCAL TOWN ENGINEER AND FORMER DEPUTY CLERK
In Cronin, the complainant alleged that after he lodged an internal workplace violence complaint, the Town treated him and his stepdaughter unfairly and ultimately forced her to resign from her position as Deputy Clerk. The Division of Human Rights found that complainant had not engaged in any protected activity, and that there was no evidence of discriminatory animus.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Chelsea Weisbord successfully defended the Town.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS VILLAGE DID NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST POLICE OFFICER BY NOT PROMOTING HIM
In Proctor, the complainant alleged a local police department did not promote him because of his race and in retaliation for his union grievance opposing discrimination. The N.Y.S. Division of Human Rights found in favor of the department, as he could not show other employees treated more favorably, and the department set forth several legitimate, non-discriminatory justifications its personnel decisions, including law enforcement concerns and budgetary restrictions.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Vernée C. Pelage defended the police department.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON CO-WORKER HARASSMENT
In Franco, the complainant alleged he was harassed by co-workers who made him feel uncomfortable by speaking Spanish in his presence. The New York State Division of Human Rights found in favor of the Village on all claims.
Steven Stern and Chelsea Weisbord defended the Village.
FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES AGE DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT AND ITS OFFICIALS
In Pfizenmayer v. Hicksville Public Schools, plaintiff sued in federal court alleging age discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation following her retirement from teaching. U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss, holding that the actions plaintiff complained of – having been assigned “lower-functioning” and “non-English speaking students,” her classroom reassignment, a verbal reprimand, and an alleged negative performance evaluation – did not constitute adverse employment actions or a hostile work environment, and could not support a constructive discharge claim. The Court also dismissed plaintiff’s retaliation claim, finding she could not have had a good faith, reasonable belief that her complaints constituted protected activity under the ADEA. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision.
Steven C. Stern and Alexander J. Eleftherakis drafted the successful motion.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FIND SCHOOL DISTRICT DID NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST TERMINATED EMPLOYEE
In Romano, the complainant alleged her termination from a school district was the result of gender discrimination. The N.Y.S. Division of Human Rights found complainant’s well documented altercations and rising tensions with another employee (who was also terminated) were more likely the reason for the District’s decision.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Vernée C. Pelage successfully defended the school district.
SECOND CIRCUIT REJECTS AGE DISCRIMINATION CHALLENGE TO TEACHER RETIREMENT INCENTIVE
In twin cases Abramson and Pine v. Middle Country CSD and Loucks v. Middle Country CSD, plaintiffs were retirees who had opted out of a collectively bargained retirement incentive. They claimed that the incentive, which provided for lifetime medical benefits for retirees who retired by a certain age, discriminated against them under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss the case on statute of limitations grounds. Specifically, Judge Feuerstein held that, unlike a discriminatory pay scheme, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act does not reset the statute of limitations each time retirees make a payment towards their health benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed on other grounds, holding that the retirement incentive plan was “consistent with the ADEA” and therefore did not discriminate against the retirees on account of their age.
Steven C. Stern and Adam I. Kleinberg drafted the successful motion.
SECOND CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISMISSAL OF CUSTODIAN’S RACE, NATIONAL ORIGIN AND DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS
In Agostinello v. Great Neck Union Free School District, a former janitor for the school district alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the New York State Human Rights Law. The Second Circuit panel agreed that the school district presented sufficient evidence to dismiss the lawsuit prior to trial, holding that plaintiff failed to rebut the district’s showing that it did not promote plaintiff because of his improper behavior, poor judgment, and deficient interpersonal relationships. The court additionally held that plaintiff could not substantiate either his hostile work environment or retaliation claim.
Adam I. Kleinberg handled the appeal, as well as the successful motion before the lower court.
TEACHER’S HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT LAWSUIT DISMISSED
In Alexander v. Westbury Union Free School District, a teacher alleged hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation. In a 48-page decision, Eastern District Magistrate Judge William D. Wall granted Sokoloff Stern’s summary judgment motion, dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims against the school district and its administrators. The Court determined that the school district exercised reasonable care to promptly address plaintiff’s reported concerns. The Court also found that the school district had not taken any adverse employment action against plaintiff that would support a retaliation claim.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Melissa Holtzer defended the case and drafted the successful motion.
WESTCHESTER COURT REJECTS SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION CLAIM IN ARTICLE 78 PROCEEDING
In Americo v. Vaccaro, petitioner brought an Article 78 proceeding in Westchester County against the Town of New Castle, it’s Town Board, and the Commissioner of Public Works, alleging that her termination was arbitrary and capricious, ultra vires and retaliatory based on complains of sexual harassment. Judge Barbara G. Zambelli granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the allegations were time-barred, Article 78 was not the proper vehicle for her discrimination claims, and petitioner failed to serve a Notice of Claim as required under Town Law § 67.
Steven C. Stern and Kaitlyn R. McKenna defended the case and drafted the successful motion.
DEFENSE VERDICT IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT
In Anderson v. Darden, a former Village of Spring Valley Section 8 Housing Director brought a federal lawsuit against the Village and its former Mayor. According to the plaintiff, the Mayor repeatedly sexually harassed her over a seven year period. The Mayor denied the allegations.
Following a four day trial before the Honorable George A. Yanthis, the jury unanimously found in favor of defendants, the Village and the Mayor. Sokoloff Stern pursued costs against plaintiff, which the Court awarded to defendants.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Adam I. Kleinberg successfully represented the defendants at trial. Kiera J. Meehan assisted with trial strategy and pre-trial discovery relied upon at trial.
SUFFOLK COUNTY SUPREME COURT DISMISSES WHISTLEBLOWER AND RETALIATION CLAIMS
In Arciero v. Village of Amityville, a former Village Justice Court Clerk claimed the Village terminated her employment because she complained about an alleged “parking meter scam” and about alleged discrimination in the Village. She alleged violations of the New York State Labor Law’s “whistleblower” provision and of the New York State Human Rights Law. Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. Santorelli granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss, finding plaintiff’s whistleblower claim was time-barred and triggered a waiver of her New York State Human Rights Law retaliation claim.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Alexander J. Eleftherakis drafted the successful motion.
PRINCIPAL’S GENDER DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT DISMISSED
In Avella v. Valley Central School District, a former principal alleged that the school district terminated her on account her gender in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Southern District Judge Paul A. Crotty granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing plaintiff’s federal claim against the district and its superintendent. The Court found that plaintiff could not overcome “a record replete with legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons” for the termination.
Adam I. Kleinberg, Kiera Meehan, and Anthony F. Cardoso successfully defended the case.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS NO DISCRIMINATION AT MCDONALDS FRANCHISE
In Barrientos v. McDonald’s, the New York State Division of Human rights found that a McDonald’s franchise did not discriminate against the complainant on account of national origin when it terminated him based on his work performance.
Steven Stern and Alex Eleftherakis defended McDonald’s before the Division of Human Rights.
DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FINDS SCHOOL DISTRICT’S HIRING DECISION WAS NOT DISCRIMINATORY
In Bedard, the N.Y.S. Division of Human rights found the school district did not discriminate on account of race, age, or gender when it passed him over for more qualified candidates, including those of the same race and gender.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Vernée C. Pelage defended the school district.
FEDERAL JURY REJECTS RETALIATION AND RACE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT
In Besson v. Malverne UFSD, a former business teacher alleged the school district and administrators reduced his position from full-time to part-time for one year because he had criticized the Superintendent at a public board meeting. He also alleged they discriminated against him on the basis of his race in the distribution of administrative duty assignments. Following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack, the jury found in favor of the school district and individual administrators on all claims.
Susan H. Odessky and Melissa L. Holtzer defended the school district and its administrators.
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT GRANTS TOWN OF EASTCHESTER SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN FIRST AMENDMENT RETALIATION CLAIM
In Bonhag v. Colavita, et al., a case of local notoriety, the Town brought disciplinary charges against deceased Eastchester Superintendent of Highways Peter Bonhag as a result of his involvement in a “fields for fill” contract. A contractor agreed to refurbish a Town-run athletic field in exchange for permission to dump “clean fill” on the field as part of the job. When the Town learned that the contractor actually deposited toxic fill on the athletic field, the Town held Bonhag responsible for improper supervision of the job, and commenced disciplinary charges against Bonhag. In a separate manpower restructuring, the Town also reduced the job of Highway Superintendent to part time. Bonhag died at the end of the hearing, and his wife sued, claiming that the disciplinary charges and job reduction were retaliation for Bonhag’s support for the losing Supervisor candidate in the last election. Visiting Federal Judge Warren Eginton granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action on the ground that plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on her claims.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Mark A. Radi drafted the successful motion.
FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES AGE DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT AND DISTRICT OFFICIALS
In Briante v. Longwood Central School District, after plaintiff retired from her teaching position she sued in federal court alleging age discrimination and hostile work environment. U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss, holding that modifying plaintiff’s teaching assignments, criticizing her, and failing to protect her from an angry parent were not adverse employment actions, did not create a hostile work environment, and did not demonstrate age-based discriminatory animus.
Steven C. Stern and Kaitlyn R. McKenna successfully draft the motion.
STATE COURT DISMISSES WRONGFUL TERMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST TOWN SUPERVISOR
In Brichta v. Town of Patterson, plaintiff alleged that she was improperly terminated from employment with the Town, suing the Town and various officials. The complaint was reminiscent of a tabloid magazine story, making scandalous allegations about Town officials and employees.
Justice Francis A. Nikolai of the Putnam County Supreme Court granted the motion to dismiss the action against Sokoloff Stern’s client, the Town Supervisor, agreeing that plaintiff was an at-will employee without civil service protection; that none of plaintiff’s salacious allegations could form the basis for a whistleblower retaliation claim; and that plaintiff’s claim for unpaid benefits was not recoverable from the Supervisor.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Melissa L. Holtzer drafted the successful motion.
REVOCATION OF ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT’S TENURE UPHELD BY STATE SUPREME COURT
In Camhi v. Glen Cove City School District, an Assistant Superintendent sued the school district and its board members asserting various claims in connection with the revocation of her tenure. Initially, Sokoloff Stern removed the case to federal court, where is successfully argued for the dismissal of plaintiff’s federal due process claims before District Judge Arthur D. Spatt. Then, in a case of first impression, Nassau County Justice Norman Janowitz granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss the remaining claims. Justice Janowitz agreed that the original grant of tenure was illegal and ultra vires and therefore void, as the Education Law does not permit city school districts to grant tenure to assistant superintendents.
Steven C. Stern drafted the successful motions to dismiss.
FEDERAL JURY REJECTS PREGNANT TEACHER’S FAILURE TO HIRE CLAIM
In Cooper v. Huntington Union Free School District, a job applicant brought a federal discrimination lawsuit against the school district, claiming that she was denied a leave replacement position on account of her pregnancy. Following a three-day trial before the Honorable Leonard D. Wexler, the jury found in the District’s favor.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Leo Dorfman successfully defended the District at trial.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR’S RACE DISCRIMINATION CLAIM DISMISSED
In Edwards v. Huntington UFSD, plaintiff was the District’s Director of Mathematics who claimed race discrimination in connection with a modification of his work assignments. As part of its the District’s budgetary reductions, plaintiff was assigned to teach two classes in addition to his administrative duties while another administrator was given the responsibility for overseeing technology. Plaintiff resigned his position and commenced a lawsuit, claiming race discrimination and constructive discharge. United States District Judge Margo K. Brodie granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, finding that there was no evidence that plaintiff’s additional assignments related to his race and that his resignation was voluntary and not a constructive discharge.
Steven C. Stern and Anthony F. Cardoso successfully defended the school district.
FEDERAL COURT GRANTS SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN GENDER-BASED EQUAL PROTECTION ACTION
In Favorito v. Longwood Central School District, a tenured foreign language teacher filed suit after she was transferred from the Junior High School to the High School. Plaintiff alleged gender-based equal protection and hostile work environment claims. United States District Judge Joanna Seybert granted Sokoloff Stern’s summary judgment motion, adopting the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields, which found no evidence to support plaintiff’s discrimination claims.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Kaitlyn R. McKenna successfully defended the school district.
SECOND CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISMISSAL OF DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST BOCES
In Flieger v. Eastern Suffolk BOCES, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied plaintiff’s appeal from an award of summary judgment in BOCES’ favor. The Circuit rejected plaintiff’s various claims of adverse employment action, found that plaintiff could not rebut BOCES’ legitimate non-discriminatory basis for a transfer, and determined that plaintiff had not identified an accommodation that would have permitted her to perform all of the essential functions of her former position.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Chelsea Weisbord successfully handled the appeal.
WESTCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS FEDERAL AGE DISCRIMINATION CASE
In Franzblau v. Mamaroneck UFSD, the plaintiff sued in federal court claiming he was denied tenure on the basis of age. Judge Cathy Seibel dismissed the action in its entirety after discovery, finding there was no evidence of age discrimination and that the District acted properly in terminating the plaintiff based on his poor performance record.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Mark Radi handled the case and drafted the successful summary judgment motion.
SCHOOL DISTRICT PREVAILS IN CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE CLAIM BY FORMER CLERICAL EMPLOYEE
In Gerardi v. Huntington UFSD, a clerical worker sued for gender discrimination and retaliation, alleging she was not hired to an open custodial position because of her gender and, when she complained, was “constructively discharged.” Judge Arthur D. Spatt granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff did not raise any genuine triable issues to support her claims.
Steven C. Stern and Anthony F. Cardoso successfully defended the school district.
FEDERAL COURT REJECTS GENDER DISCRIMINATION CLAIM
In Jaeger v. North Babylon Union Free School District, a male teacher claimed the District treated him less favorably than his ex-wife, a female former District employee. U.S. District Judge Arthur D. Spatt granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s gender discrimination and retaliation claims. The court found the alleged conduct was not legally cognizable adverse employment actions, plaintiff’s allegations did not give rise to an inference of discriminatory intent, and he failed to demonstrate his complaints of gender discrimination were the “but for” cause of the alleged retaliation.
Steven C. Stern and Alexander J. Eleftherakis drafted the successful motion.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES RACE AND AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
In Jones-Khan v. Westbury Union Free School District, Eastern District Judge Joanna Seybert granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment on all of plaintiff’s race and age-based discrimination claims. The court found the District’s termination of plaintiff’s employment was in accordance with applicable New York State regulations and there was no evidence of any discriminatory animus.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Melissa L. Holtzer successfully defended the District and drafted the motion.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES TEACHER’S FIRST AMENDMENT LAWSUIT
In Kelly v. Huntington UFSD, plaintiff pulled and gathered elementary students from their classes to suggest that they tell their parents to complain to the Board of Education about the downsizing of a gifted program. After she was charged with misconduct, she filed suit in federal court alleging a violation of her First Amendment rights. Eastern District Judge Joseph F. Bianco granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff’s discussion with the students was not protected by the First Amendment.
Steven C. Stern and Mark Radi drafted the successful motion for summary judgment.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES FIRST AMENDMENT RETALIATION LAWSUIT AGAINST RETIRED SOUTHAMPTON POLICE CHIEF
In Kiernan v. Town of Southampton, a police Lieutenant at the center of what Newsday called “The Southampton Tapes,” claimed the Town’s Police Chief brought disciplinary charges against him in retaliation for the Lieutenant’s political activity. The charges stemmed from the Lieutenant’s oversight of an officer who was addicted to prescription drugs. In a 74-page decision, United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein concluded there was no evidence of an improper or retaliatory motive by the Chief, and no connection between the Lieutenant’s political activities and the charges of misconduct.
Steven C. Stern prosecuted the disciplinary matter. Brian S. Sokoloff, Leo Dorfman and Susan H. Odessky defended the litigation and drafted the successful motion.
FEDERAL JURY REJECTS SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT
In Mansuetta v. Clarkstown Central School District, plaintiff alleged that she suffered a sexually hostile work environment in the workplace. Following a four day trial before Judge Vincent L. Briccetti, the jury found in the District’s favor on all claims.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Melissa L. Holtzer successfully defended the District through trial.
PRINCIPAL’S TENURE REVOCATION UPHELD
In Nicolino v. Patchogue-Medford School District, plaintiff was the Principal of one of the District’s elementary schools whose tenure was revoked before its effective date following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. United States District Judge Joanna Seybert granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss, holding the revocation of his tenure did not violate his federal due process rights as he had no protected right to tenure.
Steven C. Stern and Anthony F. Cardoso drafted the successful motion to dismiss.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES ALL CLAIMS BY POLICE OFFICER AGAINST VILLAGE OF SOUTHAMPTON
In Platt v. Village of Southampton, plaintiff, a former police officer who asserted a host of claims against the Village, its Mayor, Board of Trustees and Chief of Police, alleged that they retaliated against him under the First Amendment for protected speech, violated his rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and discriminated against him under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Sokoloff Stern LLP immediately moved to dismiss the complaint prior to discovery, and the case was dismissed in its entirety.
Steven C. Stern wrote the successful motion. Read the story in the Southampton Press
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES GENDER DISCRIMINATION CLAIM AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT
In Ragusa v. Malverne UFSD et al., a former school teacher moved for reconsideration of the dismissal of her gender discrimination claims against the school district, and claimed to have new evidence that supported her claims. Sokoloff Stern LLP opposed this motion, arguing that the “new evidence” still did not support plaintiff’s claims of discrimination. In a 16-page decision, Judge Denis R. Hurley adhered to the Court’s original determination, holding that there was insufficient evidence to support an inference of discrimination.
Brian Sokoloff and Melissa Holtzer penned the winning motion.
TRIAL VICTORY IN RACE DISCRIMINATION CASE FOR MALVERNE SCHOOLS
In Smith v. Malverne Union Free School District, a mathematics teacher alleged he was denied a promotion and opportunity to teach an additional class on account of his race. Following a three-day trial before United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack in Central Islip, the jury rejected his claims and found in favor of the school district and individual administrators.
Susan H. Odessky and Melissa L. Holtzer defended the district and its administrators.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION LAWSUIT
In Valenti v. Massapequa UFSD, plaintiff, a male special education teacher, alleged a pattern of gender-based discrimination and retaliation based on his having filed prior complaints of discrimination. Eastern District Judge Joseph F. Bianco granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment, finding insufficient evidence to sustain plaintiff’s claims that he was subjected to disparate treatment or adverse employment actions.
Steven C. Stern and Leo Dorfman drafted the successful motion.
FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES AGE DISCRIMINATION CONSTRUCTIVE DISCHARGE CASE
In Weinstein v. Garden City Union Free School District, plaintiff, a maintenance supervisor, alleged that the school district discriminated against him on the basis of his age and religion, and forced him to prematurely retire. In a 62-page decision, Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion for summary judgment. The Court held that: plaintiff failed to identify any discriminatory pattern or practice by the District; failed to demonstrate that anyone with final decision-making authority discriminated against him; some of plaintiff’s claims were time-barred; and plaintiff voluntarily retired without any adverse employment action against him.
Steven C. Stern and Melissa L. Holtzer defended the case and drafted the successful motion.
SUFFOLK COUNTY SUPREME COURT DISMISSES DISCRIMINATION/ DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
In Angelo v. Eastport-South Manor Central School District, the plaintiff claimed the school district discriminated against and defamed him by removing him from a teaching assignment in its high school. Justice Joseph Farneti of the Suffolk County Supreme Court granted Sokoloff Stern’s motion to dismiss the complaint for plaintiff’s failure to serve a notice of claim.
Adam I. Kleinberg and Kevin Levine drafted the successful motion.
COURT REJECTS DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION CLAIM BY INJURED EMPLOYEE
In Tibbetts v. Pelham Union Free School District, plaintiff, a probationary music teacher, was fired amid parental complaints that she was rude and treated her students poorly. Shortly before she was terminated, she slipped and fell at work. Plaintiff sued the District alleging her termination violated the New York State Human Rights Law on account of an alleged or perceived disability. Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Mary H. Smith granted the District’s motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff was not disabled or perceived as disabled, and that her termination was not related to her alleged or perceived disability.
Brian S. Sokoloff and Kiera J. Meehan defended the District and wrote the successful motion.
NASSAU COUNTY COURT REJECTS ARREST DISCRIMINATION CLAIM
In White v. City of Glen Cove, a City sanitation employee alleged he was terminated on account of an arrest for which he was not ultimately convicted, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law. Nassau County Supreme Court Justice John Michael Galasso granted summary judgment to the City and its former Director of Public Works, holding that defendants did not violate plaintiff’s rights when it terminated him for failing to show up for work because he was incarcerated.
Steven C. Stern and Melissa L. Holtzer drafted the successful motion.