Race Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment, and Retaliation Claims Dismissed Against AIG

In Ellison v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op 51336(U), 53 Misc 3d 1203(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings Cty. Sept. 23, 2016), the court dismissed plaintiff’s race discrimination (including wrongful termination, salary discrimination, and failure to promote), retaliation, hostile work environment, and other claims.

Among other things, the decision provides an instructive point regarding the law of retaliation:

While an individual who complains of discrimination enjoys protection against retaliation, the mere filing of such a complaint does not insulate an employee from subsequent discipline or discharge by his employer, nor create an automatic presumption that any subsequent employer action adverse to the employee is retaliatory in nature. … The [p]laintiff must demonstrate a nexus between a specific grievance and a specific adverse action’ in order to find that proximity established causality.

Here, plaintiff failed to make the necessary showing, and defendants established that their reasons for terminating plaintiff – including plaintiff’s failure to repay a law school tuition reimbursement advance – were legitimate and nondiscriminatory.


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