On December 21, 2016, the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan ordered the New York City Housing Authority to pay $216,601 in back pay to a former employee that it wrongfully terminated. In Wilson v. New York City Housing Authority, 116992/2009, the petitioner, who worked as a Housing Authority caretaker, claimed back pay for wages he would have earned since he was fired in 2009. The court rejected the Authority’s contention that he fell outside the category of workers entitled to the back pay protections of New York’s civil service law. The court also rejected the Housing Authority’s argument that the back pay should run only to 2012, when the petitioner stopped seeking alternative employment. Finally, in calculating the back pay award, the court assumed the former employee, if not fired, would have continued to earn overtime at the same rate he did while employed, rejecting the Authority’s argument that such overtime calculation was “speculative.”
Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP partner Joshua Ellison handled the back pay phase of the litigation.