Finding Insufficient Connection to New York City, Court Strikes NYC Human Rights Law Claim From Employment Discrimination Complaint

In Bush v. Alliant Content, LLC, No. 151495/2020, 2021 WL 1204987 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Mar. 29, 2021), the court dismissed, with prejudice, plaintiff’s claim of employment discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).

While that statute is comparatively broader than its federal and state counterparts, it will not apply unless there is a sufficient connection of the facts of the case to New York City. In this case, the court held that that connection was lacking.

The court explained:

Plaintiff is suing Defendant Alliant Content LLC, her former employer, for employment discrimination and retaliation under New York State Human Rights Law and NYCHRL. Plaintiff is a resident of Armonk, New York and she worked for Alliant at its offices in Armonk, New York. She did have occasional contact with clients in New York City and alleges in paragraph 94 of her complaint one sole incident in New York City where at a meeting with a partner, Ready Set Rocket, she was told to “take notes”[.]

Defendant Alliant moves, under CPLR §3211(a)(2) alleging that New York lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a claim under NYCHRL where plaintiff is neither a resident of New York City nor works in New York City. It is well settled that a plaintiff who is not a New York City resident must plead and prove that the alleged discriminatory conduct had an impact on plaintiff in New York City (Hoffman v. Parade Publs., 15 NY3d 285 [2010]). Plaintiff fail[s] to plead any impact on her in New York City and her attempt to amend her complaint in her opposition papers is unavailing. [Cleaned up.]

Based on this, the court struck the NYCHRL claim from plaintiff’s complaint.

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