National Origin (Chinese) Disparate Treatment and Hostile Work Environment Claims Plausibly Alleged

In Yang v. Dep’t of Educ. of the City of New York, 2016 WL 4028131 (E.D.N.Y. July 26, 2016), the court denied defendant’s FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s disparate treatment and hostile work environment claims based on her national origin (Chinese).

As to plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim, the court explained:

[T]he Court concludes that the facts alleged in the Amended Complaint are sufficient to state a hostile work environment claim. As noted above, the pleading alleges that [plaintiff’s supervisor] made frequent derogatory comments about Plaintiff’s accent; ended her sentences, during every conversation with Plaintiff, by saying “it’s because you are Chinese”; and constantly interrupted Plaintiff during meetings and in front of colleagues, to point out the fact that Plaintiff has an accent. Plaintiff contends that [her supervisor] did so “on purpose in order to embarrass Plaintiff,” and succeeded in humiliating her.

As to plaintiff’s disparate treatment claim, the court rejected defendant’s argument that the derogatory comments were “stray remarks” and clarified that a plaintiff need not provide detailed allegations regarding “similarly situated comparators” in order to plausibly allege a Title VII discrimination or disparate treatment claim.

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