Expert Explains New York’s Faithless Servant Doctrine


New York’s “faithless servant doctrine” gives employers the power to deny compensation covering periods when an employee acted disloyally. While the doctrine is often applied to fiduciary breaches, recent cases, such as Astra USA v. Bildman (Supreme Judicial Court of MA, No. SJC-10361 (2009)), which applied New York law to misconduct including sexual harassment, interfering with an investigation, and intimidating witnesses, have expanded its scope. BLR spoke with Sharon Parella, Esq., a partner of the Manhattan law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (, about the doctrine and what it means for New York employers.

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