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March 2021

New York Partner Wins Dismissal of Civil Rights and ADA Discrimination Claims

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani’s New York partner Claudia A. Costa successfully argued dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit brought against a National Food Franchise in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff attempted to sue under a joint employer theory, alleging Violations of the Civil Rights Act and American’s with Disabilities Act against the national franchise and the local franchisee. Costa argued the requisite control and other factors were not present for joint employer liability to exist. The Court agreed and found that there was no joint employer situation.

While represented by counsel, the plaintiff also failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by filing her claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision ("EEOC") before proceeding to federal court, as well as omitted the national franchise from the EEOC proceedings. The court found the plaintiff had an obligation to name all parties before the EEOC and she did not. Having failed to do so, her claims failed for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies.

The federal claims having failed, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and dismissed the claims under New York State’s discrimination laws.

Claudia A. Costa



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