NYC Human Rights Law Warrants High Court Wisdom: Part 1

Employment Law360

Barry Asen and Jennifer Goldman, attorneys in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office, wrote an article titled "NYC Human Rights Law Warrants High Court Wisdom: Part 1." (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Like the U.S. Supreme Court, many states' highest courts sometimes hesitate to weigh in on the proper construction of a statute until the judicial equivalent of an "Animal House-"style food fight is in full throttle among lower-level courts. While this tradition of high-court restraint is generally understandable, it often hurls litigants into litigation limbo.

And this is precisely where many New York City employers and employees, and their counsel, currently involved in discrimination lawsuits find themselves. The conflicting interpretations of the vague and troublesome amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law (city HRL)[1] that have emerged since the statute was amended in 2005, compounded by the demonstrated desire of certain federal court judges to avoid the statute altogether whenever possible, make it difficult to litigate any case involving the city HRL.