Race Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment, Retaliation Claims Properly Dismissed Against NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services

in Tillery v. New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, 2018 WL 3098881 (2d Cir. June 25, 2018) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s disparate treatment, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As to her disparate treatment claim, plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that she was not hired for a position in a “more prestigious” unit because of her race (black). However, the court found that there was no evidence that plaintiff was qualified for that position (and hence did not make out a prima facie case of discrimination), and that even if she did, defendant offered a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for denying her request – namely, hiring another person with more extensive qualifications (here, engineering degrees). Furthermore, plaintiff did not make “any showing that there were any weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, or contradictions in this explanation” and therefore “fail[ed] to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the defendant’s offered explanation is pretextual.”

Here is the decision:

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