LIEB BLOG

Legal Media Analysts

Monday, June 06, 2022

Employers Be Warned - HERO Act Penalties Coming per New Law

Back on May 5, 2021, NY established the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), which requires employers to take various measures to protect employees from future airborne infectious disease outbreak. 

To remind you about the HERO Act:

Now, both houses of the NYS Congress have passed A10492, and once signed by Governor Hochul, employers will have 5 business days to recognize the establishment of workplace safety committees or face a civil penalty of not less than $50 per day until the violation is remedied. 


If your company hasn't yet complied with the HERO Act, now is the day to get it done!







Friday, June 03, 2022

Wrongful Death Victim's Families Will Soon be able to Recover for Mental Anguish in NYS

Both Houses of the NYS Congress have passed A06770, which will permit families (including non-married couples) of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for emotional anguish immediately on their lawsuits, even on pending cases, once it is signed by the Governor. 

This is a game changer for victim's families because current law in NYS, which is 170 years old, is very limited where only economical losses (pecuniary loss) is currently recoverable. 

With this change, attributes of our family members that we most value - emotional support, love, companionship, advice and guidance - will count and be part of how a loss is compensated in the court system.

It will no longer be cheaper to kill someone than to seriously injure them in our State. We need this signed immediately by the Governor. 


 

Thursday, June 02, 2022

LGBTQ+ Advisory Board Passed by NYS Senate

On June 1, 2022, which was the start of Pride Month, the NYS Senate Passed S6501B to establish the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board to "[a]dvise the governor regarding the development of economic, professional, cultural, and educational links between New York state and the LGBTQ+ community in New York state and advise state agencies in developing policies designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in New York state." 


While this is a great move because having the community represented in Government is important, it's questionable why the law provides that all members of the new board must "identify as LGBTQ+". 


What ever happened to allies being important in removing discrimination? Shouldn't we want experts on the topic to advise government irrespective of their personal orientation. Stated otherwise, shouldn't we want leaders in the study of health behavior, law, economics, etc. who have dedicated their careers to studying their field as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community rather than making lay anecdotal thought run the show? 


Maybe the Assembly will be smart enough to change this clearly illogical restriction. 




Pride Month: 5 Tips to Stop Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

While sexual orientation and gender identity aren't expressly set forth protected classes from discrimination on the federal level in the United States, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia is a Supreme Court case that makes sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination illegal. Plus, many states and local governments offer further protection and damages to victims of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. 

Here are 5 tips to stop this heinous discrimination and create equality in our society for all. 

  1. Don't Miss Deadlines: Federal discrimination lawsuits provide only 2 years from the wrongful act to bring a lawsuit. Some states extend this to 3 years. However, there are often much shorter timelines dependent on who the perpetrator is, so act immediately. To illustrate, employment discrimination generally requires a filing with the EEOC within 300 days. Plus, a collective bargaining agreement can limit the statute of limitations for union workers even further. Alternatively, if the government is the defendant, a notice may need to be filed within 3 months or less. So, act swiftly if you are a victim.
  2. Don't Forget the Past: Just because deadlines exist from the last act of discrimination, it's possible to leverage a law called the Continuing Violation Doctrine to reprise untimely acts of discrimination in a lawsuit. So, make sure that you bring every wrongful act that you have experienced to the table if you are a victim of discrimination. That is the only way it can be stopped.
  3. Discrimination is NOT Just Physical: If an environment is hostile and filled with harassment, that is enough to bring a lawsuit. In fact, states like New York lower the hostile environment standard from the federal rule of severe and pervasive to inferior terms and conditions so long as the harassment rises above petty slights and trivial inconveniences. If you feel harassed because of your orientation or gender identity speak up now.
  4. It Goes Beyond Your Actual Orientation and Gender Identity: Your actual sexual orientation and gender identity are clearly protected from discrimination, but did you know that you are protected from discrimination even if the perpetrator got it wrong. The law also protects your perceived orientation and identity, which is particularly important for orientation because orientation needn't be confirmed from consistent sexual acts to exist.  
  5. Retaliation is Illegal: Don't be afraid to speak up out of fear of reprisal. Simply, if you experience any negative retaliation whatsoever when you are fighting back against discrimination that you are experiencing, you can sue for that retaliation too. If retaliation happens at work, housing, education, places of public accommodation, or many other places, you can receive money damages for retaliation plus the court can order it stopped with your prior situation restored. 




 

Litigation Attorney Needed | Lieb at Law is Hiring!

Lieb at Law, P.C. seeks litigation attorney to focus practice on complex litigation including employment and discrimination, real estate litigation, and commercial litigation.


Desired qualifications:

  • 2+ Years of Litigation Experience
  • Persuasive Motion Writer
  • Proficient in Legal Research
  • Oral Arguments, Hearings

The firm’s practice areas include:

  • Employment & Discrimination Litigation: Workplace Discrimination, Housing Discrimination, Education Discrimination, Family Medical Leave ACt, Harassment, Retaliation, Restrictive Covenants, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower
  • Employment Litigation, Compliance and Trainings: Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Wage and Hour, Restrictive Covenants, Family Medical Leave Act, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appeals, Employee Handbooks and Policies, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Training, Wage and Hour Audits & more.
  • Real Estate Litigation: Real Estate Brokerage; Construction, Constructive Trust, Contractual Disputes, Cooperative & Condominium, Fair Housing & Discrimination, Commercial Evictions, Partition Action, Premises Liability, Title Insurance, Foreclosure
  • Legal Compliance for Regulated Industries: Outside Compliance Counsel for regulated professions, Policy Drafting, Policy Implementation, Auditing, Corporate Compliance Trainings.

Qualifications:

Excellent critical thinking, writing, organization and research (Westlaw) skills. Must be technologically savvy.

About Lieb at Law, P.C.:

Lieb at Law, P.C. is a litigation boutique law firm, which focuses on discrimination claims in employment and housing.

We also litigate commercial disputes, real estate brokerage commission / fiduciary duty / ethics matters, breach of contract cases, title claims, landlord / tenant evictions, mortgage foreclosure actions, plaintiff's personal injury, and all employment matters, such as wage and hour claims and whistleblower actions.

Beyond litigation, the firm also offers outside general counsel advice and counsel to its corporate clients.

Our attorneys are admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Colorado while also practicing in the Federal Courts.

The firm's culture is driven by it's three-pillars of success: Self-confidence, Grit, and Skill.

We support our culture with an emphasis on leveraging technology. Staff have access to a cloud-based legal research platform so that the latest cases are available everywhere, including at home and in the courtroom. We have a secure, cloud-based case management system that catalogs every thought and action on each matter so that case facts are readily accessible at the stroke of a computer key. Finally, enterprise file sharing, storage, and collaboration software is leveraged to enable the efficient collaboration between attorneys where case strategy and document preparation is fresh and innovative.

Beyond our representation of individual clients and companies, our managing partner also serves as a media legal analyst, who regularly appears on TV / radio nationwide. This sets the tone for our law firm where our attorneys teach the law, rather than learning from others, at continuing education events and corporate trainings.

In all, Lieb at Law, P.C. is on the cutting edge of new statutes, regulations, and cases, which gives us a strategic advantage in the courtroom and in your representation.


Resumes to careers@liebatlaw.com




Wednesday, June 01, 2022

What Rights Does an Employee have if Penalized for Using Legally Protected Absences in NYS?

An employee who was discharged, threatened, penalized, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against because such employee used any legally protected absence pursuant to federal, local, or state law will soon be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer now that S1958A has passed both the NYS Assembly & Senate. 


In fact, such an employee will have 2 years after the violation to sue and recover lost compensation and damages, liquidated damages of up to $20,000, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. Plus, the Court can order rehiring or reinstatement and restoration of seniority. Alternatively, in lieu of reinstatement, an award of front pay can be awarded.


Employers better learn and provide legal days off ASAP.






 

Can Crime Victims Sue for Dissemination & Publication of their Personal Image in NYS?

Any crime victim who was depicted in a still or video image, which was disseminated or published, will soon be able to sue the disseminator or publisher for injunctive relief, punitive damages, compensatory damages and reasonable court costs and attorneys' fees. 


The law, Civil Rights Law 52-b (S7211B) has passed the NYS Congress and only needs to be signed by the Governor to be enacted. 




Wednesday, May 25, 2022

New Housing Discrimination Notice on Source of Income Discrimination Proposed - Comment Period Open

On May 25, 2022, the NYS Division of Human Rights proposed 9 NYCRR 466.16, which will require any entity that administers any public housing program or assistance to provide a detailed notice of rights from source of income discrimination. The enabling statute, Executive Law 170-e, explains that an entity that administers includes "any state, county, municipal or other governmental entity. . . or any agency or instrumentality of such an entity, and any public or private non-profit entity authorized to administer any public housing program or assistance."


Specifically, "[t]he notice is to advise individuals of their right to nondiscrimination based on lawful source of income in housing pursuant to Human Rights Law section 296.2-a (publicly-assisted housing) or Human Rights Law section 296.5 (private housing)" pursuant to the regulation. 


The notice must be provided as follows:

  • Current recipients must receive notice within 30 days after the effective date of the regulation;
  • Future recipients must receive notice "upon notification such individual qualifies for the voucher or assistance"; 
  • "In writing, and in 14 point... font";
  • Electronically is permissible by a link to the notice; &
  • On all websites administered by the entity. 

The required notice will look like this:

KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AS A RECIPIENT OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE

By law, you are protected from housing discrimination.

The New York State Human Rights Law makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing on the basis of your source of income. This includes all forms of housing assistance (like Section 8 vouchers, HUD VASH vouchers, New York City FHEPS and others), as well as all other lawful sources of income including: Federal, state, or local public assistance, social security benefits, child support, alimony or spousal maintenance, foster care subsidies, or any other form of lawful income.

Housing providers who are covered by the Human Rights Law include landlords, property managers, real estate professionals like brokers, tenants seeking to sublet, and anyone working on their behalf.

Housing providers are not allowed to refuse to rent to you because you receive housing assistance. They are also not allowed to charge you higher rent, or offer you worse terms in a lease, or deny you access to facilities or services that other tenants receive.

Housing providers are not allowed to make any statement or advertisement that indicates housing assistance recipients do not qualify for the housing. For example, a housing provider cannot say they do not accept housing vouchers or that they do not participate in a program such as Section 8.

It is lawful for housing providers to ask about income, and about the source of that income, and require documentation, but only in order to determine a person’s ability to pay for the housing accommodation or eligibility for a certain program. A housing provider must accept all lawful sources of income equally. It is unlawful to use any form of screening of applicants that has the intent or result of screening out those receiving housing assistance.

If you believe that you have discriminated against by a housing provider with regard to your lawful source of income, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

How to File a Complaint
A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act or in court within three years of the alleged discriminatory act. To file a complaint, download a complaint form from www.dhr.ny.gov. For more information or assistance in filing a complaint, contact one of the Division’s offices, or call the Division’s toll-free HOTLINE at 1 (888) 392-3644. Your complaint will be investigated by the Division, and if the Division finds probable cause to believe discrimination has occurred, your case will be sent to a public hearing, or the case may proceed in state court. There is no fee charged to you for these services. Remedies in successful cases may include a cease-and-desist order, provision of housing that was denied, and monetary compensation for the harm you suffered. You can obtain a complaint form on the website, or one can be e-mailed or mailed to you. You can also call or e-mail a Division regional office. The regional offices are listed on the website. 


If you have thoughts about this notice or this regulation, you have until July 24, 2022 to comment by emailing: caroline.downey@dhr.ny.gov with I.D. No. HRT-21-22-00001-P in the subject line. 



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Adult Sex Offense Victims Granted More Time to Sue for Damages in NYS

Sex offense victims can now bring lawsuits in New York State even if they were previously outside of the statute of limitations or otherwise barred from not timely filing notices, etc. 


Stated otherwise, expired sex offense claims have been revived by S66A, the Adult Survivors Act.


The legislation applies to survivors of sexual offenses who were adults (i.e., 18 or older) at the time of the alleged sexual offense.


It is important that victims realize that they will only have a ONE YEAR window to bring claims so they must contact an attorney immediately and get the ball rolling now. Of note, that one year window starts on November 24, 2022 so there is time for your attorney to get all their ducks in a row and bring a strong case.




Monday, May 23, 2022

Housing Discrimination FAQs

Is real estate discrimination illegal?

Yes. Discrimination in real estate is illegal throughout the United States. In some states, like New York, there are even greater protections, rights, and damages available to victims of housing discrimination. You are entitled to compensation whether you were discriminated against by a seller, landlord, tenant co-op, condo, HOA, lender, real estate broker, salesperson, or property manager.

 

Does real estate discrimination only apply to housing?

No. Real Estate discrimination laws apply to both housing and places of public accommodation. Examples include shopping centers, professional offices, retail stores, recreational facilities, service centers, and educational institutions.

 

Can I sue for housing discrimination?

Yes. Not only is it possible to sue for real estate discrimination, but Lieb at Law, P.C.  has helped countless individuals recover compensatory damages and punitive damages for the emotional distress inflicted by this unlawful act. If you or a loved one were discriminated against because of your protected status or class, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney who will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  

 

What qualifies as discrimination?

Discrimination is classified as unfair treatment to an individual because of their protected status or class. These statuses/classes vary throughout the United States, but may include race, ethnic background, visible traits (hair texture, hairstyle, donning of religious garments or items), color, national origin, citizenship status, alienage status, immigration status, lawful source of income (subsidy recipient status), occupation, religion, creed, marital status, partnership status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (transgender status), domestic violence victim status, stalking victim status, sex offense victim status, familial status, pregnancy, presence of children, handicap (disability), age, military status, uniformed service, veteran status, first responder status, arrest record, and sealed conviction record.

 

Can a real estate / housing provider change the terms of a lease or contract based on my protected class?

No. The law prevents real estate / housing providers from changing the terms, conditions, privileges, and/or availability of property based on your protected class status. It requires real estate brokers / salespersons to give you written disclosures that advise you of your rights. It prevents you from being treated differently from others where only the terms of your offer matter, not who you are.

 

Are handicapped individuals entitled to housing accommodations?

Yes. If you are handicapped or disabled, you are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications to allow you to equally use and enjoy the property. Your actual diagnosis does not need to be revealed and can remain confidential if you seek an accommodation or modification. In addition, the cost of the accommodation cannot be charged to you. In places like New York City, the cost of modifications cannot be charged to you either.

 

What are common examples of disability cases concerning housing discrimination?

The most common handicap and disability cases that we see involve service animals or emotional support animals in no pet properties. Other types of cases include parking issues, egress ramps for mobility impairments, and additional failure-to-accommodate cases. When it comes to accommodating the rights of handicapped and disabled individuals, providing access is essential.

 

Can I be discriminated against based on my source of income?

Whether you receive subsidies, like Section 8 (Housing Choice Vouchers), or are unemployed and receive child support, disability, spousal support, or have a trust fund, your source of income cannot impact your housing choices. The law protects you from offensive signage, improper applications, and/or wrongful questionnaires if they inquire about your employment status, request your W-2, or solicit a letter of employment. Where you get your rent money is your business and yours alone.

 

Can I be retaliated against if I proceed with a discrimination lawsuit?

Don't be afraid to speak-up. If you are advancing a fair housing and/or anti-discrimination right, you are protected from retaliation. Even if it is ultimately found that you were not discriminated against, you can be compensated for facing unlawful coercion, intimidation, threats, or other types of interference with your anti-discrimination rights. It also applies if you are an ally who is aiding and/or encouraging someone else to exercise their rights to be free from discrimination.

 

What happens if I win my housing discrimination case?

As the victim, you can recover compensatory damages, punitive damages, and your attorneys’ fees. The perpetrator can lose their license (if applicable), be required to take trainings, be made to pay fines, and be ordered to stop their offensive behavior. Working with a top discrimination attorney affords you the best possible chance at a successful outcome to your case. If you or a loved one has been treated unfairly and is in need of legal assistance, contact our team today.




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