Hostile Work Environment Claim Dismissed; Amended Complaint Failed to Allege Specifics

In Anderson v. NYC Health and Hospitals (Coney Island Hospital), 2019 WL 1765221 (E.D.N.Y. April 22, 2019), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff failed to state a claim for hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It summarized the (well-established) law as follows:

In order to prevail on a hostile work environment claim, a plaintiff must make two showings: (1) that the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment and (2) that there is a specific basis for imputing the conduct creating the hostile work environment to the employer. … However, Title VII does not establish a general civility code for the American workplace. … Simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents of offensive conduct (unless extremely serious) will not support a claim of discriminatory harassment. [Citations and quotation marks omitted.]

Applying the law, Judge Cogan held that “[p]laintiff has merely alleged that unidentified individuals made offensive comments about Puerto Ricans” and “has not alleged facts showing that these comments were pervasive, as opposed to isolated comments, or that defendant knew, or should have known, about the comments but failed to act.”