Race-Plus-Gender Claim Survives Dismissal Under NYC Human Rights Law

In Samuel v. Devachan Hair and Spa, Inc., No. 150598/2020, 2022 WL 103412 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Jan. 05, 2022), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged a “hybrid” – here, race-plus-gender – discrimination claim asserted under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Defendants move to dismiss the gender discrimination claims as insufficiently pled. Plaintiff does not appear to have a separate claim that she was treated differently based on gender alone. Nevertheless, at this time, the court declines to dismiss the gender-based discrimination and hostile work environment claims. As set forth above, plaintiff has sufficiently alleged under the NYCHRL that she was treated less well on the basis of her caretaker-plus status, which included gender. Courts have recognized that a plaintiff’s discrimination claims may not be defeated on a motion for summary judgment based merely on the fact that certain members of a protected class are not subject to discrimination, while another subset is discriminated against based on a protected characteristic shared by both subsets. Gorzynski v Jetblue Airways Corp., 596 F3d 93 (2d Cir 2010).

Furthermore, plaintiff has proffered several actions to support her claims that she was subject to unequal treatment and a hostile work environment based on her status a Black female. Plaintiff argues that “black females have been recognized as a protected class under discrimination laws” and that she has successfully pleaded that the two grounds of her discrimination, based on race and gender, compounded the disparate treatment she received at the hands of Defendant. As defendants have not moved at this time to dismiss the race-based claims, it is premature to dismiss the race-plus-gender claims. It is well settled that, whether the pleading will later survive a motion for summary judgment, or whether the party will ultimately prevail on the claims, is not relevant on a pre-discovery motion to dismiss.

[Cleaned up.]

The court did, however, dismiss several of plaintiff’s other claims, including those alleging pregnancy discrimination and hostile work environment, as well as disparate treatment on the basis of familial status.

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