Hostile Work Environment Claims Dismissed; “Asian Girl” Comment Insufficient

In Yu v. City of New York et al, 17-CV-7327, 2018 WL 6250659 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 2018), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims.

It summarized the well-established legal standard:

To bring a hostile work environment claim under federal or state law, a plaintiff must allege facts from which a court can infer that “the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment.” Kassner, 4 96 F.3d at 240. Plaintiff must also show that she was “subjected to hostility because of [her] membership in a protected class.” Id. at 241. The incidents giving rise to a hostile work environment claim must be “continuous and concerted to be considered pervasive,” and “minor incidents do not merit relief.” Id. at 240-41.

Applying the law, the court explained why plaintiff did not sufficiently allege an actionable hostile work environment:

The factual allegations in the Complaint are insufficient to state a claim for hostile work environment. The only discriminatory comment alleged in the Complaint is Postiglione’s reference to Yu as the “Asian girl” in 2013. Compl. ¶ 2. To the extent Plaintiff claims a hostile work environment based on this alleged statement, “isolated, minor acts or occasional episodes” of discrimination do not warrant relief. Brennan v. Metr. Opera Ass’n, 192 F.3d 310, 318 (2d Cir. 1999). Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims are therefore dismissed.

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