Employees Residing Outside New York City May Bring New York City Human Rights Law Claims, Court Says

New York's highest court, the New York Court of Appeals held in Hoffman v Parade Publs. that a person residing outside New York City may bring a claim under the New York City Human Rights Law if the impact of the claim was felt within New York City. The court held as follows: We hold that the impact requirement is appropriate where a nonresident plaintiff invokes the protection of the City Human Rights Law. Contrary to Hoffman's contention, the application of the impact requirement does not exclude all nonresidents from its protection; rather, it expands those protections to nonresidents who work in the city, while concomitantly narrowing the class of nonresident plaintiffs who may invoke its protection.

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Punitive Damages Available in Claims Brought Under New York City Human Rights Law Even if Employer Lacks of Malice or Awareness of Violation, Court Says

The New York Court of Appeals in Chauca v Abraham held that the jury may award punitive damages in claims against an employer brought under the New York City Human Rights Law even absent a showing that the employer demonstrated malice or awareness that they were violating the law. This standard represents a lower degree of culpability necessary to impose punitive damages than under similar state and federal law. The court held as follows: the standard articulated in Home Ins. requires neither a showing of malice nor awareness of the violation of a protected right, representing the lowest threshold, and the least stringent form, for the state of mind required to impose punitive damages. By implementing a lower degree of culpability and…

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Faragher-Ellerth Defense Does Not Apply to Claims Brought Under the New York City Human Rights Law, Court Says

New York's highest court--the New York Court of Appeals--held in Zakrzewska v New School that the Faragher-Ellerth defense does not apply to claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law. The Faragher-Ellerth defense provides as follows: "an employer is not liable under Title VII for sexual harassment committed by a supervisory employee if it sustains the burden of proving that (1) no tangible employment action such as discharge, demotion, or undesirable reassignment was taken as part of the alleged harassment, (2) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior, and (3) the plaintiff employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or [*2]corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise" Instead, the…

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