The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court determined plaintiff’s causes of action for constructive discharge and hostile work environment should have been dismissed. The court laid out the criteria for those causes of action:
“An employee is constructively discharged when her or his employer, rather than discharging the plaintiff directly, deliberately created working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have felt compelled to resign” … . Here, the defendants established, prima facie, that the plaintiff’s complaints were insufficient to show an intolerable work environment that would lead a reasonable person in that position to feel compelled to resign … . …
A hostile environment claim “involves repeated conduct,” not “[d]iscrete acts such as termination, failure to promote, denial of transfer, or refusal to hire” … . Here, the two discrete acts alleged by the plaintiff were insufficient to create a hostile work environment … . Blackman v Metropolitan Tr. Auth., 2022 NY Slip Op 03490, Second Dept 6-1-22
Practice Point: A “constructive discharge” employment-discrimination cause of action requires the deliberate creation of intolerable working conditions designed to force the plaintiff to quit (not demonstrated here). A “hostile work environment” employment-discrimination cause of action requires “repeated conduct” which is not demonstrated discrete acts such as termination, failure to promote, denial of transfer or refusal to hire.