Age-Based Hostile Work Environment Insufficiently Alleged

In Giordani v. Legal Aid Society, 17-CV-5569, 2018 WL 6199553 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 27, 2018), the court held, inter alia, that plaintiff failed to plead an age-based hostile work environment claim.

From the decision:

While Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim is largely based on a series of unpleasant interactions with his colleagues, some of the incidents described in the complaint appear to be more malicious. Plaintiff states that colleagues falsified reports of bad behavior against him and stole or tampered with his supplies—allegations which the Court must accept as true at the pleading stage. However, the complaint does not provide even the slightest detail as to how many times or how frequently these events occurred. Plaintiff’s allegation that the abuse was systemic “is simply too vague, because the precise frequency of such comments is of great importance in analyzing a hostile work environment claim.” Almontaser v. New York City Dept. of Education, 2014 WL 3110019, at *8 (E.D.N.Y. Jul. 8, 2014) (internal citations omitted). As Plaintiff was employed at LAS for over forty years, the pleadings make it impossible to tell whether these incidents occurred fairly recently or whether some of them happened many years ago. In any event, with the possible exception of the September 20, 2017 meeting, Plaintiff does not provide any “factual enhancement” that would allow the court to determine the seriousness of these incidents, and the complaint is devoid of any facts from which it could be inferred that Plaintiff was targeted because of his age rather than a “personal agenda” against him. Doner-Hendrick v. New York Institute of Technology, 2011 WL 2652460, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. Jul. 6, 2011). None of the comments allegedly made to Plaintiff could be construed, even remotely, as betraying an age-based animus toward him. His bare assertion that “younger employees are treated differently” and “do not endure such harassment” does not overcome this deficiency.

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