Hostile Work Environment Claim Dismissed; Post-Employment Conduct Not Actionable

In Roberts v. The Sage Corporation et al, 20-cv-365, 2021 WL 3617670 (NDNY Aug. 16, 2021), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

From the decision:

In contrast to Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims, hostile work environment claims involve a repetitive pattern of conduct, rather than discrete acts. Therefore, by their nature, hostile work environment claims more easily lend themselves to application of the continuing violation doctrine. See Williams v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., No. 19 Civ. 1353 (CM), 2019 WL 4393546, *7 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2019) (citing Rivas v. N.Y. State Lottery, 745 F. App’x 192, 193 (2d Cir. 2018) (citing Patterson v. County of Oneida, N.Y., 375 F.3d 206, 220 (2d Cir. 2004))); McGullam v. Cedar Graphics, Inc., 609 F.3d 70, 75 (2d Cir. 2010). It is axiomatic, however, that incidents occurring after a plaintiff’s employment has ended cannot contribute to his hostile work environment. See Oliver v. Penny, No. 1:19-cv-00233 (BKS/DJS), 2020 WL 7316125, *13 n.15 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 11, 2020) (citing Ruggerio v. Dynamic Elec. Sys. Inc., No. 12-cv-100, 2012 WL 3043102, *9, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103940, at *27-28 (E.D.N.Y. July 25, 2012) (“The January 2011 reference had not effect upon plaintiff’s work environment, her working conditions or her ability to perform her job — the hallmarks of a hostile work environment — because her employment ended in January 2010.”)); Lonergan-Milligan v. New York State Off. of Mental Health, No. 14-CV-274S, 2018 WL 6605686, *2 n.3 (W.D.N.Y. Dec. 17, 2018) (stating that “it is well established that a Plaintiff cannot rely on events that occurred after her departure from the workplace to establish a hostile work environment (collecting cases)); Fox v. Nat’l R.R. Passenger Corp. (Amtrak), No. 1:06-CV-1135 (LEK/RFT), 2009 WL 425806, *6 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 19, 2009) (citations omitted).

[T]he only allegations Plaintiff has made that address conduct occurring within the 300-day statutory period are Defendants’ alleged calls to [plaintiff’s subsequent employer]. However, Plaintiff cannot rely on these allegations to support his hostile work environment claim because they occurred after he had already left his position with Defendant SAGE on January 7, 2019. As a result, Plaintiff’s continuing violation argument fails because there are no timely allegations to which he may attach his untimely allegations[.]

Based on this, the court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s Title VII hostile work environment claim.

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