“Big Daddy” and Other Remarks Were Insufficient to Plausibly Allege a Hostile Work Environment

From Lawtone-Bowles v. City of New York, 2019 WL 652593 (S.D.N.Y. 2019):

[Plaintiff] alleges little more than a few stray remarks. “Big Daddy” and “cabbage patch baby” bear no facial connection to any protected characteristic. Rubin v. Abbott Labs., 2015 WL 5679644, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2015). A single excited utterance of the pejorative term “black bitch” and a lone characterization of Lawtone-Bowles as a “nasty woman” are “mere offensive utterance[s]” insufficient to state a claim. See LaSalle v. City of N.Y., 2015 WL 1442376, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2015) (dismissing hostile work environment claim as insufficient where supervisors habitually used “bitch” and other sexist names toward plaintiff); see also Jowers v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., 2010 WL 3528978, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2010). By the same token, her supervisors’ skeptical comments about her disability are insufficient to state a claim. The only remaining allegation—that her PATH supervisor and co-workers harassed her for “being a woman and disabled”—is too vague to withstand a motion to dismiss. Because none of these incidents, either individually or in the aggregate, amount to a hostile work environment based on any one of her protected characteristics, her federal and state hostile work environment claims are dismissed.

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