Hostile Work Environment Claim Sufficiently Alleged Under NYC Human Rights Law Against NYC Health & Hospitals Corp.

In Garcia v. NYC Health & Hospitals Corp., No. 157098/2020, 2021 WL 2688488 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County June 28, 2021), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff (a homosexual Hispanic male who alleges he suffers from panic disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), claustrophobia, and HIV) sufficiently alleged a claim for hostile work environment under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

A hostile work environment is present when a workplace is “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.” La Marca-Pagano v Dr. Steven Phillips. P.C., 129 AD3d 918, 919 (internal citations omitted). Plaintiff has made out a cause of action for “hostile work environment.” More specifically, plaintiff asserts that his coworkers touched him inappropriately, commented on his appearance inappropriately, and called him by discriminatory nicknames, among other actions. This Court does not find that such alleged actions constitute, as defendant claims, “petty slights or trivial inconveniences.” Indeed, “the objective hostility of a work environment depends on the totality of the circumstances.” Petrosino v Bell Atl., 385 F3d 210, 221 (2d Cir. 2004). Here, plaintiff’s coworkers allegedly acted in a hostile manner toward him.

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