Race-Based Retaliation Claim Survives Dismissal; Termination Occurred One Day After Protected Activity

In Baptiste v. The City University of New York et al., 22-CV-2785 (JMF), 2023 WL 4266914 (S.D.N.Y. June 29, 2023), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s race-based retaliation claim, asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

Here, plaintiff’s retaliation claim arises out of her termination, which occurred one day after she engaged in protected activity.

From the decision:

Defendants’ sole argument for dismissal of the claim is that Section 1981 applies only to race-based retaliation, not to disability-based retaliation. That is true, but beside the point because the Complaint alleges race-based retaliation. The Court would be on firm ground denying Defendants’ motion on that ground alone. But, in any event, Baptiste plausibly states a claim of race-based retaliation insofar as she alleges that she “expressly objected” to Boudreau’s threats of retaliation against Rias for complaining about racial discrimination.

In support, the court cited case law (Sumner v. U.S. Postal Serv., 899 F.2d 203 (2d Cir. 1990) for the proposition that “protected activity” in the retaliation context has been held to include “informal protests” of discrimination, including “expressing support of co-workers who have filed formal charges.”

Share This: