Hostile Work Environment Claim Dismissed as Not Administratively Exhausted at the EEOC

In Batiste v. The City University of New York, No. 16-CV-3358 (VEC), 2017 WL 2912525 (S.D.N.Y. July 7, 2017) (J. Caproni), the court dismissed plaintiff’s discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims.

Among other things, it held that plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

“To present a hostile work environment claim to the EEOC, a plaintiff must have alleged facts sufficient to suggest a pervasive, abusive environment upon which a rational trier of fact could find that he was subjected to a hostile work environment due to his [membership in a protected class].”

The court explained why plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies with respect to her hostile work environment claim:

Plaintiff’s EEOC charge contains nothing to suggest that she was the victim of a hostile work environment. Aside from a single conclusory assertion that Plaintiff was “harassed … in violation of Title VII,” the allegations in the EEOC charge suggest only that Plaintiff’s job performance was unfairly and inaccurately criticized on two occasions and that the motives behind Plaintiff’s eventual termination were questionable. [] Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims are not reasonably related to the claims raised in the EEOC complaint, which mention only several discrete instances of general unfair treatment.

While there are situations where claims not raised in an EEOC charge may be deemed “exhausted”, the circumstances here did not fall into any of them as to this claim.

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