NYPD Officer’s Sex-Based Hostile Work Environment Claims Survive Dismissal Under the NYS and NYC Human Rights Laws

In Roper, Kamala v. The City of New York, Frantz Souffrant, Joseph Antonio, No. 528198/2022, 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 51299(U), 2023 WL 8247927 (Sup Ct, Nov. 28, 2023), the court, inter alia, denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s sex-based hostile work environment claims asserted under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

After summarizing the black-letter law, the court applied it to the facts as follows:

Here, after considering all the circumstances, Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim based on her gender discrimination claims, survives the § 3211(a)(7) challenge under both the NYSHRL and NYCHRL. Contrary to Defendants’ contention, the Court does not agree that Plaintiff’s allegations amount to “petty slights and trivial inconveniences,” as among other things, Plaintiff alleges she was told by a Lieutenant to give a female officer a poor evaluation because said female officer then “could not claim discrimination”;21 had her evaluation for the female officer changed to reflect a lower grade than Plaintiff issued;22 was given multiple poor evaluations with no explanation;23 had her probationary period extended;24 was given negative “crafts”25 without her knowledge;26 worked in an environment where employees who had a personal, intimate relationship with her supervisor were favored;27 and her supervisor stated that “he does not like black females because they are too loud.”28 Since a reasonable person could find these actions to have created an “objectively hostile or abusive environment,” under the totality of the circumstances, it cannot be said these allegations would not unreasonably interfere with an employee’s work performance.

The court thus denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims of gender-based hostile work environment under state and city law.

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