RMF Litigator Obtains Victory in Employment Discrimination Case

Uniondale, Long Island, N.Y. August 17, 2015 – Ruskin Moscou Faltischek Partner Joseph R. Harbeson obtained a defendant’s verdict in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York on behalf of an employer in the plumbing industry. Pleading claims under §1981 of the Civil Rights Act, the plaintiff asserted that the company had discriminated against him on the basis of race when it laid him off from a construction project. Mr. Harbeson successfully argued that the company had hired the plaintiff for a particular phase of the work and was laid off only because that phase of the work had been completed and the project crew of plumbers was being scaled back.  After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours, finding the employer had not discriminated against the plaintiff, but rather terminated his employment for a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason.

Joseph R. Harbeson is Chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group, and a member of the Litigation Department and the Employment Law Practice Group. Mr. Harbeson in addition to advising clients on compliance with the myriad statutes and regulations governing employment relationships, he has handled a wide range of labor and discrimination matters, successfully representing clients in claims of racial, religious and disability discrimination, both in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. He has defended “hybrid” claims involving wrongful termination of union employees coupled with claims of union breaches of the duty of fair representation, and has represented employers in labor arbitrations. In addition, he has advised clients and litigated employment disputes arising out of the breakup of partnerships and close corporations.

For more than 47 years, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., headquartered in Uniondale, has built a reputation as one of the region’s leading providers of innovative legal services. Its attorneys are practical, experienced advocates who measure their success by their clients’ success. Cornerstone groups in all major practice areas of the law are represented at the firm, including corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, intellectual property, health care, real estate, employment, cybersecurity and data privacy, energy, and trusts & estates. Clients include large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals.