Our employment law team, Ari Panagopoulou and Elizabeth Vulaj Successfully Defend Business in New York State Division of Human Rights
Discrimination is one word with a resounding impact, not least when it comes to employer-employee relationships. While employers in New York can ordinarily terminate an employee at any time and for any reason – or for no reason at all – they cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, sex, race, disability etc. What happens though when dismayed terminated employees, with ample time on their hands, decide to use discrimination as a pretext to seek revenge and money from their former employer?
A worker, who was terminated after swearing in front of customers and injuring a co-worker, filed a claim of discrimination against his employer, a local small business, with the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR). He claimed that he had been terminated because of his national origin and disability. He came to Ari and Liz who investigated the demographics of the store, interviewed employees. and put together a formal response to the division, establishing that the business in fact had a very diverse workforce consisting of almost 30 employees of different national origin. Ari and Liz also exposed the employee’s deceit about his disability which was never reported to anyone until the filing of his claim against the employer. The complaining worker claimed that he was disabled because he tripped and fell on his knee while at work. Our team’s investigation revealed that the worker went to work out at the employer’s gym area the same day and many days after his “accident.”
Accordingly, the Complaint of Discrimination was ordered DISMISSED by the NYSDHR. The business owner was very pleased to be able to continue running their operation in peace along with the satisfaction of having fought back against a deceitful worker who tried to use NY State’s anti-discrimination laws for his own selfish purpose.