Hostile Work Environment & Pay Discrimination Claims Sufficiently Alleged Against Acacia Network, Court Rules

In Santiago v. Acacia Network, Inc. et al, 2022 WL 6775835 (S.D.N.Y. October 10, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim(s) asserted under the New York City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

The plaintiff also argues that the defendants fostered a hostile work environment in violation of the NYCHRL. A hostile work environment claim under the NYCHRL requires the plaintiff to show that the plaintiff “was treated less well than other employees on the basis of a protected characteristic.” Syeed v. Bloomberg, L.P., 568 F. Supp. 3d 314, 341 (S.D.N.Y. 2021). To do so, the plaintiff must “plead facts tending to show that actions that created the hostile work environment were taken against [her] because of a prohibited factor.” Id. The plaintiff has alleged that she was paid less than a white male comparator and Puerto Rican comparators, that she was provided fewer opportunities for promotion than Puerto Rican comparators, that an alleged nepotism policy was enforced against her but not against others, and even that she was not given a free parking spot while a white comparator received one.

The court concluded that these “allegations sufficiently show that the plaintiff was treated less well due to her national origin, race, and color under the NYCHRL’s broad pleading standards” (cleaned up), and therefore denied defendant’s motion.

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