Plaintiff States Race Discrimination Claims Under the NYS and NYC Human Rights Laws

From Lufuluabo v. Nord Anglia Educ. Inc., 2017 NY Slip Op 32175(U) (Sup.  Ct. NY Cty. Index # 159102/16 Oct. 16, 2017):

Plaintiff has stated a potentially meritorious claim for discrimination under the NYCHRL. She is a member of a protected class and filed multiple complaints about comments by other employees, lack of diversity, and the negative treatment of her claims of her son’s sexual assault. Plaintiff was discharged from her employment and defendants have failed to show that she was not qualified to hold her position. Defendants have not
identified any other reason for plaintiff’s discharge or provided proof that her work was otherwise deficient. The defendants assertions that there is a lack of severe and pervasive
discrimination is not enough for dismissal of the discrimination claims asserted under the NYCHRL.

The standard for recovery under the NYSHRL follows the federal standards under [T]itle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 USC §2000e et seq.) (Ferrante v. American Lune Assn., 90 N.Y. 2d 623, 687 N.E.2d 1308, 665 N.Y.S. 2d 25 [1997]). The federal
standard applied under NYSHRL require that the hostile environment be more than just mild or isolated incidents that could not be said to permeate the workplace and be severe and pervasive (see Forrest v. Jewish Guild for the Blind, 3 N.Y. 3d 295, supra at page 311).

Plaintiff has sufficiently stated a potential cause of action under the NYSHRL. Plaintiff identified potential racially related comments from other employees. She has alleged that executives on behalf of the defendants were advised of her claims of lack of
diversity and discrimination at least as of December of 2015, and that the failure to address her complaints continued until the termination of her employment. Defendants have not shown that plaintiff’s complaints were sporadic and only based on petty or
trivial inconveniences. Although additional scrutiny alone would not sustain the claim, the other alleged actions by the defendants have not been refuted and are at this stage of the action sufficient to sustain the claim.

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