Title VII Discrimination Claim, Based on Status as Crime Victim, Dismissed

In Taylor v. The Children’s Village et al, 2021 WL 1581568 (SDNY April 21, 2021), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s discrimination claim, asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on her status as a crime victim.

This decision illustrates Title VII’s relatively narrow scope:

Plaintiff suggests throughout the amended complaint that her employer discriminated against her based on her status as a victim of domestic violence or human trafficking. But being a survivor of domestic violence or human trafficking is not a protected class under Title VII. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) (“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual … because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”); Johnson v. All Metro Home Care Servs., No. 19-CV-1190, 2019 WL 5799598, at *4 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 7, 2019) (holding that being a survivor of domestic violence does not make plaintiff a member of a protected class under Title VII), report and recommendation adopted, 2019 WL 6527949 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2019). In any event, Plaintiff fails to allege any facts suggesting that her employer took any adverse employment action against her because of her status as a victim of domestic violence or human trafficking.

Notably, while plaintiff also asserted claims under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws – which explicitly prohibit discrimination based on, inter alia, domestic violence victim status, the court (having dismissed the federal claims over which it exercised original jurisdiction) declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them.

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