Court Dismisses Race-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim, As It Was Based on Time-Barred Conduct

In Olivier v. County of Rockland et al, 15-CV-8337, 2018 WL 401187 (SDNY Jan. 11, 2018), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim, on the ground that it was based on time-barred conduct.

The court began by observing: “Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint appears to rehash— at times in a verbatim fashion—the same time-barred disparate treatment allegations presented in his initial Complaint by rebranding the exact same acts as now amounting to a hostile work environment.”

After summarizing the legal requirements of a hostile work environment claim, Judge Karas concluded:

Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] precludes recovery for discrete acts of discrimination or retaliation that occur outside the statutory time period, even if other acts of discrimination occurred within the statutory time period. [] Here, Plaintiff has pointed exclusively to discrete actions taken by Defendants and their agents, including the decisions of his superiors to discipline him for what he alleges are “baseless disciplinary charges,” [] and that white employees were not subject to the same charges[]. Yet, such actions would only constitute, discrete, adverse employment decisions concerning promotions, discipline, and appraisal, and about employer criticism. [] Ultimately, hostile work environment is not the proper vehicle for such claims. … Therefore, Plaintiff has failed in his effort to repackage his time-barred disparate treatment claims into claims of a hostile work environment.

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