News Brief

Mayo Obtains Dismissal of Discriminatory Hiring Claim

November 21, 2019

Celena Mayo (Partner-NYC) obtained dismissal of a discriminatory hiring claim brought by the State Division of Human Rights against our client, an international cargo handling company that employs longshoremen in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Co-defendants included multiple other employers and local unions doing business on the New York side of the Port. The complaint alleged that the respondents engaged in discriminatory hiring practices by participation in the collective bargaining agreement through one of the unions representing port workers. Initially filed in 2012, the case relied principally on statistical data; the Division issued a probable cause determination in 2014 as to all the parties. Complicating matters was the shadow participation of the Waterfront Commission, a bi-lateral state agency that regulates employment in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Commission and the union handling collective bargaining for all the port workers have historically had a somewhat contentious relationship. No employment in the Port can be undertaken without clearance by the Waterfront Commission. Subsequently, respondents each filed requests for reconsideration that were denied and motions to dismiss that were held in abeyance until after the Public Hearing, which was held in 2017 and consisted of 16 sessions over six months. All parties presented and cross examined expert and fact witnesses. After a two-year wait, Chief Administrative Judge Estrella finally issued a 56-page Recommended Findings of Fact, Opinion and Decision and Order adopting almost all of Celena’s arguments in support of dismissal.


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