NY Court Rules for Fired Yoga Therapist
NEW YORK, NY – Hot and cute female employees have rights, too! First Appellate Department of the New York Supreme Court found — in a first-of-its-kind decision — that a New York City yoga teacher has valid claims of sex discrimination against her former employer, a chiropractor and his office-manager wife. The yoga teacher’s complaint states that the chiropractor’s wife fired the yogi in a purported fit of jealousy because the yoga instructor was “too cute.”
Back in 2012 Charles Nicolai and Nicolai’s wife, and former Playboy Playmate, Stephanie Adams, hired Dilek Edwards as a yoga and massage therapist at Wall Street Chiropractic and Wellness. Around 2013, Nicolai told Edwards, “that his wife might become jealous of Plaintiff because Plaintiff was too cute.”
A few months later, on the morning of October 29, 2013, Edwards received a text message from the Stephanie, stating “You are NOT welcome any longer at Wall Street Chiropractic… DO NOT ever step foot in there again, and stay the [expletive] away from my husband and family!!!!!!! And remember I warned you,” as quoted in the ruling. Stephanie’s messages confirmed that she would create a hostile work environment should she return to work.
A few hours later, chiropractor Nicolai followed up with an email, reiterating the text’s underlying message. “You are fired and no longer welcome in our office… If you call or try to come back, we will call the police.”
Nevertheless, the next day Wall Street Chiropractic and Wellness called the police on the yogi. Edwards claims that the police received a false complaint that the wife had received “threatening” phone calls from her, supposedly frightening the wife to the point of changing the locks at her home and business.
The Appellate Division stated in their opinion reversing the trial court’s opinion that:
“Here, assuming the truth of the allegations of the amended complaint, as we are required to do upon a motion to dismiss, plaintiff had always behaved appropriately in interacting with Nicolai, and was fired for no reason other than Adams’s belief that Nicolai was sexually attracted to plaintiff,” the unsigned opinion states. “This states a cause of action for gender discrimination under the [New York State human rights laws] and the [New York City human rights laws]… It is well established that adverse employment actions motivated by sexual attraction are gender-based and, therefore, constitute unlawful gender discrimination,” the opinion states. “Here, while plaintiff does not allege that she was ever subjected to sexual harassment at WSCW, she alleges facts from which it can be inferred that Nicolai was motivated to discharge her by his desire to appease his wife’s unjustified jealousy, and that Adams was motivated to discharge plaintiff by that same jealousy. Thus, each defendant’s motivation to terminate plaintiff’s employment was sexual in nature.”
In a footnote of the decision, the court explained that “what makes her discharge unlawful is not that Nicolai’s wife urged him to do it, but the reason she urged him to do it and the reason he complied.”
 If you feel like you need help or a way out contact the experienced New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.


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About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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