Anderson Kill's former CFO sues for alleged disability discrimination
Paul Schwartz, the former chief financial officer of Anderson Kill, had worked at the law firm for 20 years when he was fired in June 2022. Image from Shutterstock.
The former chief financial officer of Anderson Kill has alleged in a lawsuit that the law firm offered to demote him to billing manager and then fired him after he sought accommodations for a head injury.
The former CFO, Paul Schwartz, said he fell and hit his head while taking out the garbage in February 2022. His Aug. 15 suit alleges that the firm discriminated and retaliated against him on the basis of disability, age and gender.
Schwartz, a 65-year-old man, suffered physical and neurological injury in the fall, the suit said. After taking a short amount of time off for his injuries, Schwartz “started to receive harassing communications from his employers to return to work before he was ready,” the suit said.
He hired a lawyer “to engage in a reasonable accommodation process” for his return to work, the suit said. In response, Anderson Kill “immediately suggested Mr. Schwartz needed to end his employment for seeking reasonable accommodations and later performed a perfunctory accommodations process” to support his termination, the suit said.
Schwartz had worked at Anderson Kill for 20 years when he was fired in June 2022.
The suit said Schwartz provided many benefits to the firm during his employment, including “presenting a very profitable and firm-sustaining forecast to shareholders” when Hildebrandt consultants asserted that the firm would not survive absent a merger. He also worked with Wachovia Bank’s lending team after 55 Anderson Kill lawyers left for Reed Smith in 2008, the suit said.
Schwartz alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act and human rights laws in New York City and the state of New York. He filed the suit in federal court in the Southern District of New York.
Robert Horkovich, Anderson Kill’s managing shareholder, told Bloomberg Law that the suit “is baseless, and we expect to prevail fully.”