Constructive Discharge Claim Sufficiently Alleged

In Grant v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., No. 152844/2022, 2024 WL 1532777 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Apr. 09, 2024), the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims of constructive discharge asserted under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

From the decision:

To establish a prima facie case of discrimination, a plaintiff must show that: “(1) she is a member of a protected class; (2) she was qualified to hold her employment position; (3) she was terminated from employment or suffered another adverse employment action; and (4) the discharge or adverse action took place under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination.” Forrest v Jewish Guild for the Blind, 3 NY3d 295, 305 (2004).

Here, according all the facts alleged as true and giving them a liberal construction, plaintiff has made out a prima facie case that she was subjected to unequal treatment because of a protected characteristic, as she alleges she is a member of a protected class, she was qualified to hold her position, she was constructively terminated, and the adverse actions she suffered took place under circumstances where discrimination could be inferred.

Although many of plaintiffs allegations (i.e., having her phone conversations monitored, being given an excessive workload, having her means of payment questioned) do not rise to the level of a hostile work environment, the persistent belittling she alleges (“You are nothing” [“]What do I need you for!”, “You do not do nothing [sic] here”, “You’re ineffective”) are sufficient.

The court additionally concluded that plaintiff sufficiently alleges “that defendant deliberately created working conditions so intolerable, difficult or unpleasant that a reasonable person would have felt compelled to resign.”

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