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Court Holds Defendant Fails to Establish Gender Discrimination

Plaintiffs alleged that they were sexually assaulted and were subjected to unwanted and repeated sex crimes by their supervisor, one of the defendants in this case. New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the plaintiffs were employed as data entry technician in a company engaged in children’s clothing apparel, another defendant in this case. One of the plaintiffs alleged that she underwent abortion as a result of the rape committed against her.

Defendant supervisor moved for a summary judgment to dismiss the case against him. According to the defendant, plaintiff’s testimony is incredible as a matter of law. He argued that plaintiff did not make her claim of rape until six months after the first alleged rape and four months after the second alleged rape. Additionally, there are records of numerous telephone calls and text messages between him and the plaintiff at all times of day and night, indicating that they engaged in a consensual sexual relationship Defendant supervisor’s passport unequivocally demonstrates that he was in Colombia on August 19, 2005, the date of the second alleged rape. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said after some of the alleged acts of harassment occurred, the plaintiff signed a birthday card “Be healthy & wealthy” for the defendant on his birthday, and sent flowers to him on this occasion

The Court denied defendant supervisor’s motion for summary judgment.

According to the court, it is well settled that the proponent of a summary judgment motion must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact'” (Johnson v CAC Bus. Ventures, Inc., 52 AD3d 327, 328 [1st Dept 2008], quotingAlvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324 [1986]). A failure to meet this burden requires that the motion be denied, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers (id.). If the proponent makes a prima facie showing, the burden shifts to the opposing party to “present evidentiary facts in admissible form sufficient to raise a genuine, triable issue of fact”. The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, giving it the benefit of every reasonable inference (Ashland Mgt. Inc. v Altair Invs. NA, LLC, AD3d, 869 NYS2d 465, 467 [1st Dept 2008]).

According to the court, any conflict in the testimony or evidence merely presents an issue of fact for trial (6243 Jericho Realty Corp. v AutoZone, Inc., 27 AD3d 447, 449 [2d Dept 2006]). In sum, defendant has shown the existence of conflicts and inconsistencies in the evidence, which go to the heart of this lawsuit and must be decided by a jury.

Defendant employer moved for summary judgment arguing that neither plaintiff has an actionable hostile work environment claim. It asserted that plaintiffs cannot succeed on their hostile work environment claims because they never complained to anyone at the company.

The Court denied this ground ruling that under New York law, where the complainant is harassed by a low-level supervisor or a co employee, the complainant is required to establish only that upper-level supervisors had knowledge of the conduct and ignored it; if so, the harassment will be imputed to the corporate employer and will result in imposition of direct liability. However, a Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said there is no opportunity to make a complaint to upper-level management where the harasser is the highest ranking supervisor. Moreover, requiring the complainant in that instance to notify the corporate directors is unfair and impractical. Corporate directors typically are not present at the workplace and necessarily delegate their responsibilities to upper-level managerial employees. Thus, it would be unrealistic to require the complainant to “go over the head” of an abusive chief executive. Here, defendant supervisor was named as one of three managers of the company.

Plaintiff claimed she was dismissed from employment claiming intentional discrimination against defendant employer. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said defendant employer moves to dismiss the action arguing it had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating plaintiff’s employment. To support this contention, defendant submitted an affidavit from the manager of operations. The manager averred that he observed that plaintiff was not dedicated to her work or trying to learn the business; on numerous occasions, she was late, absent, missing from her desk when she was needed or otherwise not doing the work assigned to her.

The Court granted the motion stating plaintiff has failed to show a jury question that defendant employer’s stated reasons were false, and that its actions were motivated by gender discrimination (see Forrest, 3 NY3d at 308 n 5 [“it matters not whether the . . . stated reason for terminating plaintiff was a good reason, a bad reason, or a petty one. What matters is that the . . . stated reason for terminating plaintiff was nondiscriminatory”]). Plaintiff has proffered no evidence that negates defendant’s evidence of her absenteeism.

Defendant employer further contends that it is entitled to summary judgment on causes of action pertaining to Assault, Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress committed, since all of these torts were outside the scope of defendant supervisor’s employment. The Court agreed stating all of the alleged conduct, such as the alleged sexual assaults, fell outside the scope of defendant supervisor’s employment, and was committed for purely personal reasons.

Our New York Rape Lawyers from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can walk you through your case. It has offices conveniently situated within New York Metropolitan area, including Corona New York.

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