On March 6, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, handed a gift to employees. The Court reviewed issues related to (1) hostile work environment claims and (2) the standard for retaliation claims. On both issues, the Court’s decision came out highly favorable for employees. Today’s Long Island employment law blog discusses the decision in Rasmy v. Marriott International, Inc.
Hostile Work Environment Claims are Fact Intensive and Should Not Be Decided on Summary Judgment
Under federal law, a hostile work environment claim must show, among other things, that the employee was subjected to abusive and unwelcome conduct based on the employee’s membership in a protected class. Further, the conduct must be severe or pervasive such that it altered the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment. Notably, New York law expressly eliminates the severe or pervasive standard, so that showing is not necessary when suing under state law, but still must be met when suing in New York, but under federal law. The Rasmy decision addresses the requirements (1) conduct based on the employee’s protected class and (2) the terms and conditions of employment. These points are discussed below.