Rondiene E. Novitz and Scott Gurtman Obtained Defense Verdict in Title VII Civil Rights Case

Rondiene E. Novitz and Scott Gurtman obtained a defense verdict in a Federal Court, Eastern District case. The plaintiff, a music teacher, brought suit under Title VII, claiming she was terminated from a Long Island School District and denied tenure due to her age. Plaintiff alleged she was not given any performance reviews – in violation of school policy – for her first two years in the district, and when she was reviewed in her third year, her reviews were almost entirely positive. Plaintiff was the oldest music teacher in the district and she claimed that less-qualified, younger teachers were granted tenure. Defendants argued that Plaintiff was not an effective music teacher and resisted working with special needs children since she felt a music teacher should not be required to work with special needs children. Plaintiff also did not effectively communicate with parents and was often insensitive to students in her classroom. After five days of testimony, a defense verdict was reached and all claims were dismissed.