NYSDHR Dismisses Two Employment Discrimination Complaints Against Nonprofit
Case Study

NYSDHR Dismisses Two Employment Discrimination Complaints Against Nonprofit

October 22, 2020

Goldberg Segalla partner Jennifer H. Feldscher successfully defended a New York nonprofit that supports children and adults in two separate complaints alleging employment discrimination before the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR). The NYSDHR issued no probable cause determinations and dismissed both cases.

In the first matter, the complainant, who worked as a rehabilitation specialist, claimed she was missing money from her wallet and confronted a client of the nonprofit and his brother, who denied taking the money. She then called the police. The nonprofit notified the complainant that her last day with the client would be March 28 and that it was the client’s father who requested that he no longer receive services from the complainant. Contrary to the complainant’s implication, the employer never fired the complainant, as she was still working with another client and the nonprofit subsequently reassigned her to another. Notably, Jennifer, a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor practice, argued that by calling the police, the complainant did not engage in an action protected by Human Rights Law. After an investigation, the NYSDHR dismissed the complaint against our client, stating that there was no evidence that it violated Human Rights Law.

In the second matter, the complainant, a habilitation specialist, claimed she was sexually harassed by her co-worker and that she was terminated after she complained about it. She alleged that one of the respondents conspired and had other supervisors lie to management to falsely accuse her of yelling and causing a disturbance to get her fired. After an investigation involving unbiased witnesses, Jennifer confirmed that the complainant caused a disruption in the workplace, used profanity, and made explicit comments. The record shows the complainant exchanged texts with the co-worker evidencing consensual out-of-work interactions. The NYSDHR confirmed this and stated that our client had a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the termination and dismissed the complaint.


MORE ABOUT GOLDBERG SEGALLA’S EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR PRACTICE:

Attorneys on Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor team view our representation of employers as a strategic partnership aimed at protecting the enterprise and its leaders while helping the organization advance its management philosophy and maintain its company culture. We understand the risks employers face, along with the pressures placed on management, because attorneys on this team have experienced them firsthand as in-house counsel and human resources officers at various companies in multiple industries.