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New York Court Discusses Deposition Length in Employment Discrimination Cases

January 7, 2021

In employment discrimination cases, the testimony of the plaintiff and other key witnesses is usually essential to proving or refuting liability. While depositions can normally be completed within a day, in some instances, multiple days are required to fully obtain relevant information. Recently, a New York court discussed when depositions could be extended past a day in an employment discrimination case. If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, it is advisable to consult a New York employment discrimination attorney to determine your potential claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant banking corporation for unspecified reasons. During the course of discovery, depositions were conducted, including the plaintiff’s. The parties agreed to allow the plaintiff’s deposition to continue for a second day, to allow the defendant’s counsel to fully and fairly obtain his testimony. Prior to the continued deposition, though, the plaintiff’s counsel stated that he would only allow for the plaintiff’s continued deposition if the defendant made one of its witnesses available for a second day of testimony as well. Thus, the defendant filed a motion to compel the plaintiff’s continued deposition.

Depositions in Federal Employment Discrimination Cases

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a deposition can be extended if more time is needed to fairly examine the witness. The need to allow additional time for critical depositions is well established and has been upheld by numerous courts. In the subject case, the plaintiff’s complaint had close to one hundred and fifty paragraphs. Thus, the court stated that ample time was needed to question him on his assertions as well as the facts alleged by the defendant in its affirmative defenses.

Further, the court explained that there were numerous other issues to discuss with the plaintiff, like his performance at the defendant corporation, his disability, and his request for accommodation. The court noted the discovery served on the defendant was far more extensive than that served on the plaintiff, and it was not burdensome to expect the plaintiff to sit for a continued deposition.

The court also declined to permit the plaintiff to renege on his prior agreement to allow for his continued deposition unless the defendant entered into a quid pro quo arrangement. Specifically, the court noted that the plaintiff originally indicated he only needed one day for the deposition of the witness in question, during the same telephone conversation in which the plaintiff’s two-day deposition was discussed. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet With a Capable Employment Attorney in New York

If your employer violated your right to work in an environment that is free from unjust treatment, you might be able to recover damages in an employment discrimination lawsuit. The capable employment attorneys of Gerstman Schwartz LLP are skilled at proving employers’ liability for discriminatory behavior, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you seek a just outcome. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at (212) 227-7070 for our Manhattan office or at (516) 880-8170 for our Garden City office to schedule a conference.

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