Claim by fired employee of developer can move ahead: court

December 17, 2013 11:08AM

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals restored allegations of retaliation yesterday by a former employee of Midtown-based real estate developer the Andalex Group.

Zann Kwan, hired as vice president of acquisitions at Andalex in 2007, was fired the next year for leaving work early without her employers’ permission. Kwan alleged that she was let go after complaining to Chief Financial Officer Alex Silverman about gender discrimination in the office. She claimed she was treated differently from her male colleagues, as far as bonuses and salary increases were concerned. Silverman denied that the conversation ever occurred.

A three-judge appellate panel yesterday affirmed U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest’s summary judgment dismissing Kwan’s claim of a hostile work environment. But the court said there is “sufficient evidence to require denial of the summary judgment motion on the claims for retaliation,” as U.S. District Judge John Koeltl wrote.

Andalex’s attorney A. Michael Weber of Littler Mendelson PC said the defendant was pleased that the hostile work environment claim was dismissed.

In 2009, media buying firm Renegade Media sued Andalex for alleged breach of contract, claiming more than $170,000 in unpaid expenses and fees.

Andalex, which focuses on commercial and gaming properties, is best known in New York City for developing Long Island City’s Arris Lofts. Andalex also partnered with Edward Minskoff at 101 Sixth Avenue, but Minskoff bought out the firm’s stake in 2011. [Law360]Mark Maurer