One of the difficulties in employment retaliation cases is determining whether an action an employer has taken can be deemed retaliation under the law. This is because not every action which an employer takes against an employee can constitute a retaliatory act, even if the employer acted with a retaliatory motivation. For instance, a verbal reprimand which does not constitute discipline is typically not considered adverse enough to constitute unlawful retaliation.
On February 15, 2024, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, issued a decision which discusses how courts should evaluate employment retaliation cases. Today’s Long Island employment law blog discusses the decision in Clifton Park Apartments, LLC v. New York State Division of Human Rights. Spoiler alert: The decision is mostly favorable for employees.
The facts of the Clifton Park case are as follows. Leigh Renner worked for a company called CityVision. CityVision is a not-for-profit corporation which tests housing facilities for discriminatory practices. CityVision’s employees pose as prospective tenants and call housing facilities to seek to rent an apartment. One housing facility which Renner called, Pine Ridge, was owned by Clifton Park Apartments, LLC.