Knight v. State Univ. of N.Y. at Stony Brook, No. 17-54 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Stony Brook under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., alleging discrimination and retaliation when he was terminated from his employment as an electrician. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the issue of whether plaintiff was an employee of Stony Brook. The court held, according to precedent, that a trial court did not commit error by submitting the question of whether plaintiff was defendant's employee to the jury, whether by general verdict or by special question. The court rejected plaintiff's contention that the district court erred when it instructed the jury to use the factors in Cmty. for Creative Non‐Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730, 751–52 (1989), to determine whether plaintiff was a Stony Brook employee. The court held that the evidence presented disputed issues of fact regarding several of the Reid factors, and the balancing of those factors and others that pointed both in favor of and against employee status also presented a disputed issue requiring resolution by the fact‐finder. The court rejected plaintiff's remaining arguments.