Giannakos v. New York Companies

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October 2007
  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
  • Litigation Case Document

Giannakos v. New York Companies (Sup. Ct., New York Cty.) (filed Oct. 19, 2007)

Legal Momentum served as plaintiff co-counsel.

Background of the Case

New York City is one of only a handful of places in the country that prohibit employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence and require an employer to provide a victim with “reasonable accommodations” to help the victim do her job and stay safe. Legal Momentum helped to draft and advocate for this law, enacted in 2001 and strengthened in 2003. New York State’s Penal Law also makes it illegal to fire a victim of crime for being absent from work to meet with a prosecutor.

Summary of the Case

Legal Momentum filed this case on behalf of a victim of domestic violence who was fired from her job after she missed two days of work to seek medical attention and meet with a prosecutor after she was attacked by her boyfriend.

Our client was brutally attacked by her boyfriend just days after beginning a new job in New York City. She quickly told her employers what happened, and informed them that that she would need to miss work to obtain medical attention, and to meet with a prosecutor about the case against her boyfriend. While Ms. Giannakos was meeting with the prosecutor two days later, her employer called to tell her she was being fired. He didn’t change his mind, even after the prosecutor told him it was illegal to fire a crime victim for missing work to meet with a prosecutor.

Our lawsuit, filed in October 2007, alleged that Ms. Giannakos’ termination violated the anti-discrimination and reasonable accommodation provisions of New York City’s Human Rights Law, and that firing her for missing work to meet with a prosecutor violated New York State Penal Law. The Verified Complaint is available here for download.

Outcome of the Case

The case was resolved in 2010.