Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claim Dismissed; Court Cites Absence of Action Following Rejection of Sexual Overture

In Mejia v. City of New York, 2020 WL 2837008, at *14 (E.D.N.Y. May 30, 2020), the court, inter alia, granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s quid pro quo sexual harassment claim.

From the decision:

Plaintiff asserts claims for quid pro quo sexual harassment under NYSHRL and NYCHRL. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when submission to or rejection of improper or unwelcome sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual. As such, to succeed on her claim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, Plaintiff must adduce not only proof of a sexual demand by a supervisor, but also that a tangible employment action resulted from a refusal to submit to a supervisor’s sexual demands.

While the City Defendants contend that Opromalla’s offer of “private lessons” was not an overt sexual overture, drawing all inferences in Plaintiff’s favor, the court concludes that a jury could plausibly conclude that it was so intended. Notwithstanding, as discussed in the preceding section with regard to Plaintiff’s retaliation claims, Plaintiff has failed to adduce evidence that any action was taken against her following her rejection of that overture. Therefore, she is unable as a matter of law to sustain a claim either under NYSHRL or the more protective NYCHRL. As such, the court grants summary judgment to Defendants on these claims. [Citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]

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