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Woman’s racial discrimination lawsuit revived

Category: Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment

A racial discrimination case involving an African-American woman may be of interest to California residents. The plaintiff in the case was the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office’s Administration for Children’s Services in New York City before she was transferred to a different department. According to the plaintiff, her supervisor discriminated against her because of her race and retaliated against her for her criticism of personnel decisions.

The plaintiff filed a discrimination claim under Title VII after she says that she was forced to work in a hostile environment and then demoted from her position. The woman says that her manager spoke to her harshly, acted impatient with her and reprimanded her unfairly. After the woman was transferred to a different department, she claims that a white woman with fewer qualifications was hired to fill her old position.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York initially dismissed the woman’s lawsuit, but a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit panel revived the case in part. The panel found that the plaintiff’s allegations were sufficient to claim discrimination under Title VII in some aspects such as disparate treatment. However, the panel agreed with the district court that the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to prove that she was subjected to a hostile work environment.

In order to prove a hostile work environment claim, a plaintiff must show that discrimination or harassment in a workplace was severe and pervasive. Those who believe that they have been subjected to these kinds of conditions may want to discuss their case with an employment law attorney.

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