Epstein Becker Green Wins Dismissal of Discrimination and Retaliation Suit Against New York City Hospital

March 31, 2016

Epstein Becker Green achieved a significant victory on behalf of Staten Island University Hospital ("Hospital"), its CEO, and the Chairman of its Pathology Department in a long-running discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.  Having previously obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s federal and New York State law claims, on March 31, 2016, Epstein Becker Green obtained summary judgment on the plaintiff’s New York City Human Rights Law claims.

The plaintiff, Dr. Jotica Talwar, was a pathologist at the Hospital. Born in India, Dr. Talwar was authorized to work in the United States pursuant to an O-1 visa but was only eligible for a limited medical license under the New York Education Law.  To obtain an unlimited license in New York, a physician must be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States.  After practicing medicine at the Hospital for many years on a limited medical license, Dr. Talwar failed to obtain an unlimited medical license by a deadline set by the Hospital and was discharged as a result.  Dr. Talwar filed suit against the defendants, alleging alienage and national origin discrimination under Section 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), and state and city law; sex-based salary discrimination under the Equal Pay Act as well as Title VII and state and city law; and retaliation under Title VII and state and city law for complaining about salary discrimination.

Two years ago, Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted summary judgment on the federal claims and dismissed the state and city law claims for lack of supplemental jurisdiction.  On May 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed in favor of the defendants on all federal and state law claims, but, finding no dispute that diversity jurisdiction existed, held that the District Court should have addressed the New York City Human Rights Law claims separately under its more liberally construed standards, and remanded those claims to the District Court. Chief Judge Amon then granted summary judgment on the city law claims. 

Epstein Becker Green attorney John F. Fullerton III represented the defendants.