NYC Human Rights Law: “Equal Opportunity” Offender


Barry Asen and Kristopher D. Reichardt, attorneys in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Law360 titled “NYC Human Rights Law: ‘Equal Opportunity’ Offender.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Not only are the First Department’s new standards and burdens puzzling, and not only can they lead to questionable outcomes in cases, but different First Department panels have contradicted each another. Those contradictory decisions have remained at odds for four years!

The current NYCHRL standards and burdens have confused both lower state courts and the federal courts in the Second Circuit. In fact, federal district court judges in the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York often refuse to exercise supplemental subject matter jurisdiction over NYCHRL claims, despite awarding summary judgment on companion claims under Title VII and the state HRL. In such cases, if plaintiffs want their NYCHRL claims adjudicated, they must commence a second lawsuit in state court. There is a better way, to wit, the court of appeals should clarify NYCHRL legal standards and burdens once and for all.