Second Circuit Revives Race-Based Hostile Work Environment Claim From Summary Judgment Dismissal Against NYC Housing Authority

In Williams v. New York City Housing Authority, No. 21-1527-cv, 2023 WL 2171483 (2d Cir. Feb. 23, 2023), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the district court’s order granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s race-based hostile work environment claim.

From the decision:

The district court erred when it identified several triable issues of fact but concluded that a reasonable juror could not determine that the NYCHA Defendants subjected Williams to a hostile work environment. When looking at the five main incidents that gave rise to Williams’s claims, the court categorized the first three as ones that “potentially reference race” and categorized the latter two as “facially neutral.” The court then individually addressed the three incidents that “potentially reference race” before assessing the totality of those incidents, as part of its faulty totality of the circumstances analysis. [Citation omitted.]

In sum, the court held that the district misapplied the Supreme Court’s test, articulated in Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17 (1993), by “completely excluding” two of five alleged incidents from its’ “totality [of the circumstances] analysis.”

Share This: