Race, Color, National Origin, Sex Discrimination Claims Sufficiently Alleged; Court Cites Comments Reflecting “Racial and Gendered Stereotypes”

In Ramirez v. Temin & Company, Inc. et al, 20 Civ. 6258, 2021 WL 4392303 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 24, 2021), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged race, color, national origin, and sex discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Here, Ramirez alleges that [company owner] Temin suggested she and other women who were red nail polish are unintelligent and unsophisticated, told Ramirez that she sounded “angry” while on the phone and that her hoop earrings and “bold” lipstick were unprofessional, and complained to Ramirez that “dreadlocks” were unprofessional. Ramirez argues that Temin, in making these comments, relied on racial and gendered stereotypes, including “stereotypes about Black or Brown women as being subordinate” and “less capable”. Ramirez further alleges Temin made offensive comments about other people of color, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College.

These allegations are sufficient to create an inference of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and sex. See Windsor v. Rockefeller Ctr/Tishman Speyer, No. 01 Civ. 4374 (SAS), 2002 WL 1467834, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. July 8, 2002) (employer’s “possibly stereotypical comments,” including instructing Black employee not to wear his pants hanging below his waist, were sufficient to create inference of race discrimination); Colbert v. FSA Store, Inc., 19 Civ. 9828 (LJL), 2020 WL 1989404, at *4-5 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 27, 2020) (finding inference of discrimination where employer “made a number of comments that can be plausibly construed to reflect racial stereotyping or constitute coded racial comments”); LaSalle, 2015 WL 1442376, at *5 (“even a ‘single comment that objectifies women made in circumstances where that comment would, for example, signal views about the role of women in the workplace may be actionable” under the NYCHRL).

[Citations omitted; cleaned up.]

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