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Labor and Employment Group Obtains Dismissal of Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

Attorneys in Kane Kessler’s Labor and Employment practice group prevailed on a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the firm’s clients HEI Hotels and Resorts in response to an action commenced in the New York Supreme Court for the State and County of New York by a former Housekeeping supervisor alleging employment discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiff Mendez brought claims against HEI alleging discrimination as well as retaliation based upon a Cat’s Paw Theory of agency liability. He claimed the HEI failed to properly investigate the sexual harassment claims which resulted in his termination. The Hon. David Cohen dismissed Mendez’s discrimination claims noting that he failed to allege he was a member of a protected class or that his discharge occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination. The Court also rejected Mendez’s retaliation claims noting the Cat’s Paw theory has not been recognized in New York and, even if it were, Mendez failed to allege that his co-employee possessed any discriminatory intent or intended to cause his firing. Mendez v. New York Hotel Trades Council and HEI Hotels and Resorts, 160993/2017.