Race-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim, Based on “Microaggressions” etc., Insufficiently Alleged

In Dubie v. Buffalo Concrete Accessories, Inc., 21-cv-744, 2022 WL 901604 (W.D.N.Y. March 28, 2022), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff failed to state a claim for a race-based hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

From the decision:

Dubie alleges that she was subject to “microagression[s]; racial bias[ ]; workplace harassment; [and] racial slurs, jokes, [and] stereotype[s]” throughout her employment at Buffalo Concrete. Docket Item 1 at ¶¶ 5, 6, 13(j). She identifies May 16 to June 4, 2019; June 10, 2019; August 1, 2019; September 1, 2019; October 1, 201912 ; November 1, 2019; December 1, 2019; and January 3, 2020, as when discriminatory acts occurred. Id. at ¶¶ 5-6.

But Dubie does not allege any specific act of discrimination connected to any specific date, and the complaint therefore fails to allege any action within the 300-day limitations period. Indeed, even considering the new allegations raised in her response to the motion to dismiss, Dubie still has not alleged an act within the limitations period that allegedly contributed to the hostile work environment. See Docket Item 13 at 8 (email regarding mistreatment sent on June 4, 2019); id. (emails drafted regarding “behavior still being endured in September 2019”); id. at 11 (racial slur said in Dubie’s presence in June 2019). And with no allegation of any act inside the limitations period, none of the alleged related acts from outside the limitations period may be considered.

Despite dismissing plaintiff’s hostile work environment (as well as disparate treatment and retaliation claims), the court granted plaintiff leave to amend her complaint that corrects the deficiencies noted by the court.

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