Inappropriate Emails and Sexual Comments Plausibly Support Sexual Harassment Hostile Work Environment Claim

In Heiser v. Collorafi et al. (NDNY March 9, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York held that plaintiff, a former employee of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sufficiently alleged hostile work environment sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State Human Rights Law.

In finding that plaintiff plausibly alleged her claim, the court wrote:

Plaintiff alleges that for a two-month period, Defendant Collorafi showed her inappropriate pictures, sent her inappropriate email correspondence, made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to her, and sent her an inappropriate video of a sexual in nature. Plaintiff asked for the conduct to stop, but it did not. Plaintiff told Holmes and counsel for Defendant State of New York that she feared for her personal safety when in the vicinity of Defendant Collorafi, but neither she nor Defendant Collorafi were reassigned such that they were away from each other. Accepting these allegations as true, as the Court must on this motion, Plaintiff has alleged plausible claims that she was subjected to severe or pervasive sex-based conduct that altered the conditions of her employment and created an abusive working environment.

The court therefore denied defendants’ motion to dismiss her complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

Share This: