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July 07, 2017

Unlawful discrimination complaint sustained notwithstanding respondent's failing to appear at the administrative hearing conducted by the NYS Division of Human Rights


Unlawful discrimination complaint sustained notwithstanding respondent's failing to appear at the administrative hearing conducted by the NYS Division of Human Rights
New York State Div. of Human Rights v Milan Maintenance, Inc., 2017 NY Slip Op 05508, Appellate Division, First Department

The Appellate Division unanimously sustained the New York State Division of Human Rights' (DHR) determination holding that  Milan Maintenance, Inc., [Milan] had unlawfully discriminated against an individual that it rejected for employment and DHR's awarding the complainant $10,000 for mental anguish and humiliation.

Noting that Milan defaulted at the administrative hearing held by DHR,* thus failing to rebut a prima facie showing that it had unlawfully discriminated against the complainant, the court said that DHR's findings were supported by substantial evidence and DHR's "award of compensatory damages for mental anguish" was proper.

Mari v Safir, 291 AD2d 298, sets out the tests typically applied by New York courts in resolving litigation challenging the decision of an administrative agency arrived at as the result of having conducted an administrative hearing in absentia

* In Hall v Environmental Conservation, 235 AD2d 757, the Appellate Division upheld an arbitrator's award in favor of the employee after Environmental Conservation boycotted the arbitration because if believed that the employee was not entitled to arbitrate the dispute.

The Milan decision is posted on the Internet at:

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