Allegations of Vulgar Remarks About Women Sufficient to Plead Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment

In Anderson v. Edmiston & Co., Inc. (App. Div. 1st Dept. Aug. 4, 2015), the court held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged claims of gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under the NYC Human Rights Law, and affirmed Supreme Court’s denial of defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint under CPLR 3211(a)(7).

Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that her superior said that women working in yacht charter are “stupid” and “unable to make a deal” and that women should “lie down and spread their legs for” him.

In finding plaintiff’s allegations (at the pleading stage) sufficient, the court explained:

Defendant is a New York corporation specializing in the sale, charter, management, and new construction of yachts around the world. Defendant employed plaintiff as a Charter Assistant from July 2008 until November 8, 2012, when allegedly she was effectively terminated . . . as a result of her complaint of gender discrimination. According to the allegations in plaintiff’s complaint, plaintiff’s supervisor harbored a discriminatory animus against women and made numerous sexist and misogynist remarks, both directed at her and in her presence.

Plaintiff’s allegations suffice to state claims of gender-based employment discrimination and retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law. In particular, according her the benefit of every possible favorable inference, plaintiff has adequately alleged that she was terminated, for purposes of stating the foregoing claims.

Plaintiff has also adequately alleged a claim for hostile work environment by alleging that her supervisor routinely made deprecatory, vulgar, and offensive remarks about women, including that they were useful only for administrative services and sex.

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