NYCHRL Gender Discrimination Claim Should Not Have Been Dismissed, 1st Department Holds

In Crookendale v. New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 06446 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Sept. 3, 2019), the court held that plaintiff’s NYC Human Rights Law gender discrimination should not have been dismissed.

From the decision:

The motion court should not have dismissed the claim of gender discrimination while sustaining the claim of hostile work environment due to sexual harassment. The City HRL does not differentiate between sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination, but requires that sexual harassment be viewed as one species of sex- or gender-based discrimination.

Turning to the facts, the court observed that “[i]n her affidavit in opposition to defendant’s motion, plaintiff sufficiently described being touched and complimented inappropriately to permit a jury reasonably to find that she was treated ‘less well’ than her male colleagues because of her gender and that the conduct complained of was neither petty nor trivial[.]”

The court did, however, affirm the dismissal of plaintiff’s constructive discharge and retaliation claims.

As to her constructive discharge claim, there was no evidence “that defendant deliberately created working conditions so intolerable, difficult or unpleasant that a reasonable person would have felt compelled to resign.”

As to her retaliation claim, the court noted plaintiff’s “vague, informal complaints to her supervisor’s superior and the Equal Employment Opportunity office did not convey that she was discriminated against unlawfully and therefore do not constitute protected activity under the City HRL” and the absence of “evidence that any of her superiors had any knowledge of her complaints or engaged in any retaliatory conduct.”