Female Fox Rothschild Worker to Appeal Loss on Sex Bias Claims

Nov. 20, 2020, 8:53 PM

A former administrative assistant in Fox Rothschild LLP’s Morristown, N.J., office who says a male attorney sent her sexually explicit text messages and otherwise harassed her will appeal the dismissal of most of her claims to the Third Circuit, federal court records show.

Stephanie Jones filed a notice of appeal Friday with the U.S. District Court of the District of New Jersey. She intends to challenge an Oct. 21 ruling by the district court that dismissed the bulk of her claims against the firm and Ian Siminoff, a former Fox Rothschild attorney.

Jones initially sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York but Fox Rothschild and Siminoff succeeded in having it transferred to the District of New Jersey. She asserted a variety of claims under the laws of both states as well as under federal law.

But Judge Susan D. Wigenton dismissed Jones’ sex bias claims under New York state and city employment discrimination laws after finding Jones failed to sufficiently tie Siminoff’s alleged harassment to the city or state.

The judge also found Jones’ claims under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination were brought several months outside the governing two-year limitations period. They were therefore untimely , Wigenton said in the Oct. 21 ruling.

The judge also found that Jones was similarly too late with assault and battery claims against Siminoff based on his alleged unconsented touching, as well as with her Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims against the lawyer.

Jones voluntarily withdrew her emotional distress claims against Fox Rothschild and Siminoff.

The only claim that survived dismissal was Jones’ Title VII allegations against Fox Rothschild, which the firm didn’t seek to dismiss.

T. A. Blackburn of Brooklyn and Frasilie Stinvil of New York represent Jones. Fisher & Phillips LLP represents Fox Rothschild. Paduano & Weintraub LLP represents Siminoff.

The case is Jones v. Fox Rothschild LLP, D.N.J., No. 20-cv-06312, notice of appeal 11/20/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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