The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined (1) although plaintiff would not have been required to file a notice of claim for an employment discrimination action against a city pursuant to the General Municipal Law, plaintiff is required to file a notice of claim for the instant employment discrimination action against the town pursuant to the Town Law, and (2) plaintiff was entitled to leave to file a late notice of claim. The notice of claim provisions in the Town Law are broader than those in the General Municipal Law and include “wrong to a person” which encompasses employment discrimination:
Consistent with the purpose of the Human Rights Law, unlawful discrimination and retaliation is undoubtably considered a wrong against a person (see Executive Law § 290 ). Thus, the plain, unambiguous text of Town Law § 67 directs that a notice of claim is required for an action alleging violations of the Human Rights Law. * * *
Although the presence or absence of any given factor is not determinative, it is well settled that “[a] factor to be accorded great weight in determining whether to grant leave to serve a late notice of claim is whether the [public corporation] had actual knowledge of the facts underlying the claim, including knowledge of the injuries or damages” … . …
… [T]here is no dispute that the Town and its officers had timely actual knowledge of the facts underlying the claim … . Arnold v Town of Camillus, 2023 NY Slip Op 06627, Fourth Dept 12-22-23
Practice Point: Unlike the General Municipal Law, the Town Law requires the filing of a notice of claim for an employment discrimination action under the Human Rights Law.
Practice Point: The most important criterium for granting leave to file a late notice of claim is the defendant’s timely knowledge of the facts underlying the action.