New York City Employers Take Heed: State's Highest Court Rejects Affirmative Defense to Harassment Claims Under New York City Human Rights Law

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New York City employers should take note of a recent decision that will make it easier for employees to hold employers liable for harassment in the workplace. Since the late 1990s, many employers have relied upon what is commonly termed the “Faragher-Ellerth Defense” to defend against claims of unlawful harassment. On May 6, 2010, in Zakrzewska v. The New School, 2010 WL 1791091 (2010), the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest Court) held that the Faragher-Ellerth Defense is not available to claims brought under New York City’s Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”).

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