Terrorist “Joke” Insufficient to Demonstrate Discrimination

In Edun v. Envirosell, Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 31384(U), Index No. 155211/2016 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. May 17, 2019), the court dismissed plaintiff’s discrimination claims.

This decision provides a good overview of the interpretation and application of the New York City Human Rights Law.

Here is how the court addressed one of plaintiff’s allegations:

Moseman’ s question about whether Plaintiff was going to a join a terrorist organization may have been in bad taste, and it certainly failed spectacularly as a joke. But, at least in isolation, it does not rise above the k_ind of stray remark, which, under Melman, cannot serve as a basis to infer discriminatory intent.
Moseman testified that he was humiliated when he learned that Plaintiff was Muslim and that she was offended by his joke. He apologized to her both immediately, and via email after Plaintiff registered a complaint about his comment. Moreover, Moseman did not supervisor Plaintiffs and was not involved in any decision making over her career path. Thus, both in
isolation and when viewed through the full context of Plaintiffs allegations, Moseman’s remark only registers as an unactionable petty slight and stray remark.

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