Title VII, ADA Hostile Work Environment Claims Dismissed; “Scattered” Allegations of Events Over Four Years Insufficient

In Tillman v. NYC Human Resources Administration, 2022 WL 874947 (S.D.N.Y. March 24, 2022), the court, inter alia, dismissed plaintiff’s hostile work environment claims asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After assuming (without explicitly deciding) that hostile work environment claims are cognizable under the ADA and citing the elements of such a claim, the court applied the law to the facts.

From the decision:

The Second Amended Complaint covers events from 2015 to 2019. See SAC ¶¶ 17, 91. In those four years, reading the Second Amended Complaint generously, the Court can identify a scant fourteen scattered allegations of statements and actions with which Plaintiff took umbrage, by different people, at different locations, at different times. See SAC ¶¶ 17, 18, 20, 31, 49, 51, 61, 63, 64, 70, 73, 84, 87, 90. For some allegations, Plaintiff summarily attributes the conduct to racial or disability discrimination. See SAC ¶¶ 22, 29, 67; Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. However, other allegations are untethered from any discriminatory motivation, conclusory or not. In short, Plaintiff’s allegations, individually or collectively, do not come close to the type and frequency of conduct sufficient to create a hostile work environment. See Alfano v. Costello, 294 F.3d 365, 379-80 (2d Cir. 2002); Trotta v. Mobil Oil Corp., 788 F. Supp. 1336, 1350 (S.D.N.Y.1992) (eleven incidents over the course of more than seven years too infrequent to create hostile work environment). The Court therefore dismisses Plaintiff’s hostile work environment, whether alleged under Title VII or the ADA.

Having dismissed plaintiff’s federal discrimination claims, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claims asserted under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

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