Hostile Work Environment Claims Sufficiently Alleged By Restaurant Employees

In Mera v. Milos HY, Inc., No. 150880/2022, 2022 WL 7613323, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 33462(U), 16 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Oct. 12, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s hostile work environment asserted under the New York State and City Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Plaintiffs succeed in stating a claim of hostile work environment under both the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL. Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled facts that, accepted as true as the Court must when deciding a motion to dismiss, show they did not merely experience isolated remarks or occasional episodes of harassment but that the conduct complained of was severe and pervasive enough to alter their working conditions. The Complaint also pleads facts indicating that Plaintiffs were treated less well than employees of Greek national origin, and the conduct alleged cannot be said to be “nothing more than petty slights or trivial inconveniences.”

Contrary to Defendants’ contention, Plaintiffs’ allegations are not conclusory or unparticularized. All seven of the Plaintiffs asserting a hostile work environment claim detailed specific comments made in the workplace during a fourteen-month period, sometimes naming supervisors who made the remarks, and specifically state how they were treated less well than employees who were of a different country of national origin, i.e., that they were required to performing the less favorable tasks of moving chairs from a different floor, taking out the garbage, cleaning bathrooms, and cleaning silverware and glassware, while the Greek employees were not. Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ second and third causes of action is denied.

The court additionally denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ wage-related claims (e.g., that managers improperly retained tips), but granted their motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims based on their alleged failure to receive tip credit notices, given their concession that they received these documents.

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