Hostile Work Environment Claim Sufficiently Alleged; Report & Recommendation Adopted

In Jamiel v. Viveros, 19-cv-1389, 2020 WL 1847566 (S.D.N.Y. April 13, 2020), the court, inter alia, adopted a Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation to deny defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims – relating to plaintiff’s race and perceived sexual orientation – under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

From the Order:

With regard to Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim against Breadroll Inc., the Report appropriately outlines the Second Circuit’s standards for pleading a prima facie case, including that Plaintiff must allege conduct that both a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive, and Plaintiff himself found to be abusive. (See id. at 7–8.) Moreover, the Report properly notes that in considering both the subjective and objective components of this type of claim, a court is charged with reviewing the totality of the circumstances and typically, courts will look for repetitive acts that are “pervasive.” (Id. at 7 (quoting Littlejohn v. City of New York, 795 F.3d 297, 321 (2d Cir. 2015); Feingold v. New York, 366 F.3d 138, 150 (2d Cir. 2004)).) In reviewing all of the circumstances and facts alleged, and particularly focusing on the repetitive and derogatory comments that Plaintiff alleges Defendants made, the Report appropriately concludes that a reasonable person might find this type of conduct to be pervasive and abusive, and that Plaintiff himself has demonstrated that he found the claims to be discriminatory and hostile. Therefore, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a claim of a hostile work environment under Title VII against his employer. Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Title VII claims against Breadroll Inc. is denied.

Having reached this conclusion under Title VII, the court reached the same conclusion with respect to plaintiff’s claims under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws. Notably, claims under the state law are assessed under the same standard as Title VII, and claims under the city law are subject to a lower standard (i.e., plaintiff need only demonstrate “differential treatment”, i.e., that he was “treated less well” than other due to discriminatory intent).