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Monday, November 09, 2015

A court’s review of a determination by the Commissioner of Human Rights is limited to the issue whether substantial evidence supports the determination



A court’s review of a determination by the Commissioner of Human Rights is limited to the issue whether substantial evidence supports the determination
Monti v New York State Div. of Human Rights, Serv. Empls. Intl. Union, AFL-CIO, Local 200 United, 2015 NY Slip Op 07092, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Zajac v New York State Div. of Human Rights & Serv. Empls. Intl. Union, Local 200 United, 2015 NY Slip Op 07097, Appellate Division, Fourth Department

The Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, adopting the findings and recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge [ALJ] who conducted the administrative hearing concerning their respective complaints, dismissed the complaint filed by Carl A. Monti and the complain filed Corrine Zajac alleging Local 200 had subjected them to unlawful discrimination in violation of the State’s Human Rights Law.

In both actions the Appellate Division unanimously confirmed the decisions of the Commissioner of Human Rights and dismissed their respective petitions.

The Appellate Division explained that its review of a determination by the Commissioner of Human Rights is limited to the issue of whether substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's determination. Further, said the court, an ALJ’s assessment of credibility of the testimony given by the witnesses testifying at the hearing is "unassailable," and the determination must be confirmed if the testimony credited by the ALJ is supported by substantial evidence.

With respect to Monti’s complaint the court said that it concluded that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's determination that Monti failed to establish a prima facie case of unlawful retaliation and that Monti’s termination was based upon legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons.

Addressing Corinne Zajac’s appeal, the Appellate found that Zajac had not met her burden of establishing that Local 200 had engaged in unlawful discrimination when it terminated her employment. Zajac had alleged that she had been terminated by Local 200  in “retaliation for filing an age discrimination complaint.” Nor, said the court, did Zajac submit any complaint, much less evidence, that Local 200 had further retaliated against her by denying her severance benefits.

The Monti decision is posted on the Internet at:

The Zajac decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2015/2015_07097.htm
Motion to appeal: Motion, insofar as it seeks leave to appeal as against respondent Service Employees International Union, Local 200 United, dismissed as untimely (see CPLR 5513[b]); motion, insofar as it seeks leave to appeal as against respondent New York State Division of Human Rights, denied.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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