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LITIGATORS WIN DISMISSAL OF DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST MAJOR NEW YORK CITY HEALTH CENTER

On September 1, 2020, Judge Debra Freeman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a 33 page decision dismissing a complaint alleging disability discrimination against a client of the Firm, a major New York City health center, as a result of a summary judgment motion.

The Plaintiff asserted claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (the “ADA”), the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 et seq. (the “NYSHRL”), and the New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-101 et seq.(the “NYCHRL”). He contended that his employment was terminated because of his alleged disability. The Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the Plaintiff’s claims in their entirety.

The Court found that the Plaintiff effectively conceded that he violated Defendant’s employment policies. Further, he did not come forward with any material evidence that could lead a reasonable trier of fact to conclude that Defendant’s assertion that it terminated his employment on the basis of this violation was a pretext for disability discrimination. Indeed, the Court found that no reasonable juror could conclude that Plaintiff’s disability was even a motivating factor in the recommendation of termination, let alone that, under a Cat’s Paw theory (assuming it could apply to his claim), Plaintiff would not have been terminated “but for” the allegedly discriminatory motive.

The attorneys for the Firm who represented the client were S. Reid Kahn, and Jonathan Sabin of the firm’s Litigation Department and Jennifer Schmalz of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department. See Bourara v. New York Hotel Trades Council & Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. Employee Benefit Funds, 17cv7895, 2020 WL 5209779, United States District Court, SDNY, September 1, 2020.

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