Court Upholds NYSDHR Sexual Harassment Determination and Award Against Team Taco Mexico And Individual Harasser

In New York State Div. of Human Rights v. Team Taco Mexico, Corp., No. 2014-06673, 2016 WL 3265489 (N.Y. App. Div. June 15, 2016), the court held that there was “substantial evidence in the record to support the determination of the Commissioner of the [NYS Division of Human Rights] … that the respondent David Orduna subjected the complainant to a hostile work environment based on her sex, which led to her constructive discharge from the respondent Team Taco Mexico, Corp.” and that “Team Taco is liable for the discriminatory conduct of Orduna, who was its owner, and that Orduna is individually liable based on his ownership interest in Team Taco.”

It also upheld the NYSDHR’s awards of back pay, compensatory damages for mental anguish and humiliation ($50,000), and a civil fine and penalty ($75,000).

While the Appellate Division does not delve into the facts of the case, the NYSDHR’s Recommended Order dated March 28, 2012¬†does.

Among other things, that decision notes that Orduna “grabbed Complainant in front of waitresses and repeatedly appeared, uninvited, at Complainant’s home during non-working hours”, that when she “refused Orduna’s advances, he berated her and called her names”, and that Complainant “quit her job only after Orduna harassed and intimidated her”, thus demonstrating that she was constructively discharged.

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