Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Claims Survive Dismissal

In Morales v. City of New York, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center et al, 2020 WL 1150136 (S.D.N.Y. March 10, 2020), the court, inter alia, adopted a Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation that defendants’ motions to dismiss plaintiff’s aiding and abetting discrimination and hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation.

This case involves allegations that are, unfortunately, all too common: an employee complains of sexual harassment, and is subjected to retaliation for those complaints.

From the decision:

Contrary to the Hospital’s assertions, the FAC, along with the “documents attached to [it] or incorporated in it by reference,” Fishbein, 670 F. Supp. at 271 (citation omitted), sufficiently allege Plaintiff’s claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation. In the Second Charge, which is attached to the FAC, Plaintiff alleges, inter alia, that she was “illegally terminated for complaining everyday [sic] and getting false write ups”; that someone named “Robert Hunte Jr.” “unlawfully to [sic] forced [her] to termination of the job”; and that “[b]ased on the above, [she] believe[s] [she] was discriminated and retaliated against in violation of Title VII.” (FAC at 13.) Reading Plaintiff’s pleading liberally and interpreting it to “raise the strongest arguments that [it] suggest[s],” Triestman, 470 F.3d at 474, this Court presumes that the “Robert Hunte Jr.” who allegedly harassed Plaintiff for being raped and “forced [Plaintiff] to termination” refers to the “Roberto Hunt Jr.” whom Plaintiff identified in her First Charge as her manager. Accordingly, construing the FAC liberally and accepting the facts pleaded as true, Plaintiff has adequately alleged at this stage in this action that she complained to her manager about Anyanwu, but that her manager did nothing to remedy the situation, and instead disciplined and terminated her employment in retaliation for her complaints.

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