No Hostile Work Environment Claim Stated by Police Officer Based on Receipt of “Dangerous Orders”

In Staten v. City of New York, No. 15-2611, 2016 WL 3569906 (2d Cir. June 30, 2016) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim.

This case illustrates the importance of context – specifically, the nature of the plaintiff’s job – in evaluating hostile work environment claims.

From the Order:

Staten timely challenges only the dismissal of the hostile work environment claim that a lieutenant gave him dangerous orders. Specifically, Staten alleges he was ordered to leave his patrol car in a dangerous plaza and handle a disorderly group in a specific way placed him in danger. Staten failed to plausibly allege that these orders amounted to sufficiently severe or pervasive harassment; receiving orders to work in dangerous locations or control dangerous situations, absent more, does not amount to a hostile work environment given Staten’s employment as a police officer. (Emphasis added.)

The court affirmed the dismissal of other claims on the grounds of claim preclusion and as being time-barred (in that they were not presented to the EEOC within 300 days after the alleged unlawful employment practice).

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