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Home / Case Digests / Second Circuit — Hostile Work Environment: Desardouin v. City of Rochester

Second Circuit — Hostile Work Environment: Desardouin v. City of Rochester

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Hostile Work Environment

Offensive Sexual Language

Desardouin v. City of Rochester
12-187-cv
Judges Newman, Raggi and Lynch

Background: The plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her gender discrimination and retaliation claims based on a hostile work environment. The plaintiff was employed as a supervisor in the security operations department of the Rochester Police Department. The plaintiff alleged that her supervisor had made sexual advances toward her and one of her co-plaintiffs on a weekly basis.

Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed as to the retaliation and state law claims, but reversed on the discrimination claims. The court found that the comments made by the supervisor, i.e. “your husband isn’t taking care of you in bed,” were sufficient to warrant a trial.  While they were not threatening, they were more than merely offensive.  However, the defendant had provided a reason for terminating the plaintiff that was not pre-textual. Specifically, she was making secret recordings of police officials, which was a felony and against department policy.

Christina A. Agola for the plaintiff-appellant; Igor Shukoff for the defendants-appellees