Plaintiff Plausibly Alleges Title VII Religious Discrimination Claim

In Leizerovici v. Hasc Center, Inc., No. 17-CV-5774 (BMC), 2018 WL 1115348 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2018), the court held that plaintiff plausibly alleged religious discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

From the decision:

[Plaintiff] claims that just months before he was terminated, Osipov [one of plaintiff’s supervisors] expressly told him that his hair was not up to Orthodox code, that he should cut it, and that if he did not, he could be fired. Taken together, these comments suggest that plaintiff’s non-compliance with defendants’ religious practices were a substantial factor in their determination to fire him. When he was actually fired (after not cutting his hair), Schwartz could only explain his termination by saying “[w]e are trying to make new changes around the residence.” Defendants did not offer a performance-based justification.

Plaintiff, in sum, describes that defendants – a healthcare agency that seems to primarily serve the Orthodox community, and its managers who apparently practice Orthodox Judaism – imposed the requirements of their religious practice upon him, and fired him when he resisted (as was his right). At the pleading stage, plaintiff does not need to claim any more than he has; he has alleged facts sufficient to “nudge” his claim of religious-based discrimination “across the line from conceivable to plausible.”

 

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