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Extent of conduct needed to establish a public accommodation hostile work environment claim.

July 1, 2017
Holmes v. Jersey City Police Department, A-1634-15T3 (App. Div., Apr. 27, 2017)

In a published opinion, the Appellate Division reversed the dismissal of a complaint alleging public accommodation discrimination after finding that the trial court applied an overly restrictive standard for the cause of action. The plaintiff alleged that after being arrested, he was subjected to discrimination because of his gender status. The trial court concluded that the rude and insensitive comments allegedly made by the police officers did not rise to the level of being severe and pervasive to sustain an LAD violation. In overruling this decision, the Appellate Court concluded that, conduct that may not suffice to state a hostile work environment claim in the employment context could still give rise to an LAD violation when a public accommodation claim was being asserted. In fact, a single offensive comment may suffice.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2017

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