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Appeals Court limits reach of N.Y. human rights laws

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in Firing,Human Resources

In a victory for employers, the New York Court of Appeals has limited the reach of both the New York state and New York City human rights laws.

The issue arose when Manhattan-based Parade magazine terminated Howard Hoffman, the managing director of a Parade Publications group that coordinated operations with 10 newspapers across the South, where Hoffman was based.

He claimed he was fired because of his age in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. He argued that, because the firing decision was made in New York and because he had been required to attend quarterly staff meetings in New York, the case fell under New York jurisdiction.

Parade moved to dismiss the case and a New York court agreed, citing the lack of jurisdiction.

Hoffman appealed and the appellate division reversed the decision, ruling that because the firing decision was made in New York, the case could move forward.

Parade appealed that decision to the Court of Appeals, which said the original court had it right when it ruled plaintiffs must show that discrimination must have an adverse effect in New York in order for victims to claim New York jurisdiction.

Note: The ruling will help limit the practice of venue shopping, in which plaintiffs seek the set of laws most favorable to them.

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