The First Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined the complaint stated a hostile work environment cause of action under the more protective New York City Human Rights Law, but not under the New York State Human Rights Law:
… [A]lthough the motion court properly concluded that it does not rise to the level of “severe and pervasive” under the applicable pre-2019 State HRL, plaintiff has raised triable issues of fact regarding the hostile work environment claims under the more protective City HRL … . There was evidence that in May and September 2015, several of plaintiff’s coworkers referred to him by using the Spanish word for “monkey,” a racially humiliating and degrading term. Further, the evidence suggested that other coworkers and supervisors, if not everyone at the restaurant, knew that certain employees were using that term to refer to plaintiff … . Under these circumstances, triable issues exist as to whether this rises above the level of a “truly insubstantial” case … . The evidence also raised triable issues as to whether plaintiff was treated differently from other employees of his ethnic background because of his skin color … .
… [T]riable issues of fact exist as to whether defendant was liable for the comments of its workers, and whether defendant took “immediate and appropriate corrective action” to prevent the conduct … . Pichardo v Carmine’s Broadway Feast Inc, 2021 NY Slip Op 06565, First Dept 11-23-21