Evidence That Employer’s Reason for Adverse Employment Action is False, Misleading, or Incomplete May Be Sufficient on its Own to Deny Summary Judgment in New York City Human Rights Law Claims, Court Says

In a seminal opinion by the New York Appellate Division First Department, the court in Bennett v Health Mgt. Sys., Inc. held that unlike claims under the federal or state anti-discrimination laws, evidence that an employer's stated reasons for taking adverse action against an employee, if shown to be false, misleading, or incomplete, are sufficient, in all but the most unusual cases, standing alone, to deny summary judgment to an employer for claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law. Further, the court held that at the summary judgment stage, a court should not go back and determine in the first instance, whether plaintiff has made a prima facie showing of a violation under the New York City…

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Doctor’s Letter Must State More Than Unspecified “Symptoms” to Put Employer on Notice of Disability Under New York City Human Rights Claim, Court Says

The New York State Appellate Division, First Department affirmed summary judgment for the employer in Anonymous v Mount Sinai Hosp. on the employee's disability discrimination claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law. The court determined that the employee failed to demonstrate their employer was aware that the employee was disabled, as part of their prima facie case of disability discrimination. The court held that evidence consisting of a doctor's note written on the letterhead of a non-profit that helps persons with HIV that stated that the employee was suffering from unspecified "symptoms" was not sufficient enough to create an issue of fact as to whether the employer knew the employee had HIV.

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