Court Dismisses Sex Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Retaliation, and Hostile Work Environment Claims Against Honeywell

In Culleton v. Honeywell International, Inc., No. 15-cv-3739, 2017 WL 2817101 (E.D.N.Y. June 29, 2017), the court dismissed plaintiff’s gender and age-based employment discrimination claims.

Plaintiff’s negative evaluations were not “adverse employment actions” actionable under the law:

In the context of a discrimination claim, negative evaluations, criticism and unwanted scrutiny are not adverse employment actions absent a showing that such actions affected the terms and conditions of the plaintiff’s employment.[] Here, plaintiff alleges that her negative evaluations affected the terms and conditions of her employment in that they limited her ability to receive salary increases and a promotion. However, plaintiff has not pointed to any evidence demonstrating that she would have been eligible for a salary increase absent the negative reviews.

The court also held that plaintiff’s failure-to-promote claim was insufficient to withstand summary judgment:

In order to succeed on a failure to promote claim, the plaintiff must show that she applied for and was qualified for the position to which she sought promotion and that the position remained open and the employer sought applicants having the plaintiff’s qualifications. [] Here, plaintiff has not provided any evidence demonstrating that she was qualified to become a Category Manager, that she was rejected, and that defendant kept the position open and sought other applicants with plaintiff’s qualifications. Defendant, in contrast, has provided evidence that the position did not remain open and was canceled due to budgetary constraints.

Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence that the alleged adverse actions took place under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination.

For example, plaintiff pointed to a statement by her supervisor that “perhaps when he acted ‘strong’ with women it seemed harsher than when [he acted strong] with men because he [is] more sociable with men” as an admission to “interacting differently with men and women.” The court, however, found that this statement “indicates that he treats men and women the same.”

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