Court Denies Leave to Amend Hostile Work Environment Claim; Alleged Excessive Workload Etc. Insufficient

In Pattanayak v. Mastercard Inc., 21 Civ. 2657 (GBD), 2022 WL 2003317 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied plaintiff’s request to amend his complaint to bolster his hostile work environment claim, finding that claim futile.

From the decision:

A plaintiff alleging a hostile work environment claim must demonstrate that his workplace was permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment. The test objectively assesses whether the offending actions have created this environment, and subjectively assesses whether the plaintiff perceived the environment to be abusive. Courts consider the totality of the circumstances, including the frequency and severity of the discriminatory conduct at issue, to determine whether a plaintiff has met its burden under this standard. To establish a hostile work environment, a plaintiff must also demonstrate that the discriminatory conduct occurred because of his race or a disability.

The Proposed Second Amended Complaint fails to amplify Plaintiff’s allegations in any way that would show that he was subjected to an objectively hostile work environment. Excluding time-barred allegations, Plaintiff’s primary allegation in support of his claim is that his division was understaffed and overworked compared to similarly situated departments. This Court has already determined these allegations insufficient to state a claim for hostile work environment. Plaintiff’s only new claim – that Defendant ensured that the employees who worked under Plaintiff refused to cooperate with him, instead seeking direction from Plaintiff’s superiors – describes a mere inconvenience that falls far short of establishing a workplace severely permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult. Plaintiff’s largely unchanged claim is futile.

[Cleaned up.]

Having deemed futile plaintiff’s federal claims, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claims under the New York State Human Rights Law.

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