Hostile Work Environment

‘Tis the season for company holiday parties, where the awkward mingling with co-workers and the free flow of alcohol can combine to create uncomfortable and humiliating social situations and, in some cases, possible legal liability for discrimination and harassment. Despite various warnings about maintaining professionalism, it seems that every year there are people who embarrass themselves…

Read More Company Holiday Parties, Professionalism, and Discrimination/Sexual Harassment

In employment discrimination law, the phrase “hostile work environment” has a very specific meaning that does not encompass all circumstances that the word “hostile” might suggest. Courts repeatedly say, for example, that the employment laws do not provide a “general civility code” for the workplace. In addition, as set forth below, in order to be actionable, the…

Read More What is a “Hostile Work Environment”?

The New York State Division of Human Rights recently awarded substantial damages to a corrections officer who alleged that she suffered a hostile work environment and that her supervisor turned a blind eye to what was going on. The recommended findings of fact, opinion and decision, and order in Lora Abbott Seabury v. Rensselaer County et…

Read More Supervisor’s Inaction Leads to Substantial Award for Victim of Sexual Harassment

In a recent complaint, captioned Gurievsky v. Saatch & Saatchi, NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty., Index 151547/2013, plaintiff alleges (among other things) that a creative director referred to women as “pretty prostitutes” and said that he liked the style of plaintiff’s hair “because it made her look like she had ‘just been fucked’”, and that plaintiff…

Read More Sexual Harassment Suit Filed Against Branding Company

In Hernandez v. Kaisman, 2012 NY Slip Op 09191 [103 AD3d 106], the Appellate Division, First Department recently clarified that hostile work environment claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) must be analyzed separately from, and more broadly than, similar claims brought under state and federal law. In this case the motion court…

Read More First Department Reinstates Plaintiff’s Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Claims Under the NYC Human Rights Law

In MacMillan v. Millenium Broadway Hotel (SDNY June 11, 2012), the Southern District of New York found that the plaintiff successfully proved that he was subject to a racially hostile work environment.  While at work plaintiff encountered a voodoo doll with a “black face and pink lips” hanging from a bulletin board by a rope around…

Read More “Voodoo Doll Lynching” Race Discrimination Verdict Upheld

On May 4th, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated plaintiff Fedie Redd’s sexual harassment / hostile work environment claim against the New York State Division of Parole based on her allegations that a female supervisor, Sarah Washington, inappropriately touched her breasts.  The case is Redd v. New York State Division of Parole, 678 F.3d 166…

Read More Second Circuit Allows Sexual Harassment Claim, Based on Touching of Breasts, To Continue

In Cerciello v. Admiral Ins. Brokerage Corp., plaintiff alleged sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation.  Defendants filed two counterclaims, respectively seeking (1) sanctions for frivolous litigation conduct and (2) “recovery of wages paid to the plaintiff during her last year of employment on the ground … that the plaintiff failed to perform the tasks…

Read More Court Denies Employer Recovery of Wages Earned by Alleged Disloyal Employee