Retaliation Claim, Arising From Complaint of Caregiver-Status Discrimination, Sufficiently Alleged Against NYC Health & Hospitals Corp.

In Tarantul v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., No. 159425/2020, 2022 WL 159587 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Jan. 18, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s retaliation claim, asserted under New York City Human Rights Law (N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(7), finding that such claim was sufficiently alleged. (The court also denied defendant’s motion with respect to plaintiff’s caregiver-status discrimination claim, but granted it with respect to plaintiff’s disability discrimination/failure-to-engage-in-cooperative-dialogue claim.)

The court summarized the law as follows:

NYCHRL § 8-107(7) provides, inter alia, that:
It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person engaged in any activity to which this chapter applies to retaliate or discriminate in any manner against any person because such person has requested a reasonable accommodation under this chapter.

To make out a prima facie case of retaliation under the NYCHRL, plaintiff is required to show that: (1) she participated in a protected activity known to defendant, (2) defendant took an action that disadvantaged her, and (3) a causal connection exists between the protected activity and the adverse action (Cadet-Legros v New York Univ. Hosp. Ctr., 135 AD3d 196, 206 [1st Dept 2015]). Protected activity is defined as conduct opposing or complaining about unlawful discrimination (Forrest v Jewish Guild for the Blind, 3 NY3d 295, 313 [2004]).

[Cleaned up.]

Applying the law, the court held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged a retaliation claim by sufficiently “alleging that she was declared AWOL and terminated a month after she formally complained of caregiver discrimination” and “a causal relationship between her formal complaint and her subsequent termination, given the close temporal proximity between the two.”

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