Hostile Work Environment Claim, Asserted Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dismissed

In Butrym v. Sarsick et al, 20-CV-292, 2021 WL 1927073 (N.D.N.Y. May 13, 2021), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim asserted under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Initially, the court discussed the viability of such claims under that statue:

Because the ADA echoes and expressly refers to Title VII, and because the two statutes have the same purpose—the prohibition of illegal discrimination in employment—it follows that disabled Americans should be able to assert hostile work environment claims under the ADA.” Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 918 F.3d 65, 74 (2d Cir. 2019) (Hall, J.) (cleaned up).
To make out a hostile work environment claim, a plaintiff must show that (1) the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of her employment; and (2) a specific basis exists for imputing the objectionable conduct to the employer. Fox, 918 F.3d at 74.

“Although the victim must subjectively perceive the conduct as abusive, the misconduct shown also must be severe or pervasive enough to create an objectively hostile or abusive work environment.” Fox, 918 F.3d at 74 (cleaned up). “A plaintiff alleging a hostile work environment claim under the ADA, therefore, must demonstrate either that a single incident was extraordinarily severe, or that a series of incidents were sufficiently continuous and concerted to have altered the conditions of her working environment.”

Applying the law, the court explained:

To the extent that Butrym’s amended complaint might be construed to allege that being required to ride the transport bus with Quinn caused her to suffer a hostile working environment, that claim must be dismissed. Plaintiff no doubt subjectively perceived this working arrangement to be abusive or pervasive, but the amended complaint does not plausibly allege misconduct or behavior that amounts to an objectively hostile or abusive working environment. Accordingly, this claim will be dismissed.

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