Division of Human Rights Issues No Probable Cause Finding Dismissing Claim of Disability and Gender Discrimination

The New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) issued a “no probable cause” finding on a claim that a female custodial employee at a public school was discriminated against due to her sex and alleged disability. Heather Dechert represented the school against allegations that the District wrongfully terminated the employee for using inappropriate language in the presence of students but did not terminate a male employee who allegedly engaged in similar behavior. Based on its investigation, the SDHR determined that there was no substantiation of Complainant’s claims regarding her male coworker; however, there were documented reports about Complainant’s language and behavior in front of students. The employee also alleged that the District terminated her employment as a result of a recent surgical procedure and attendant leave of absence. As a substitute cleaner, the Complainant was not obligated to accept work assignments or to provide any reason for declining work assignments; therefore, her surgery and attendant time off was irrelevant. Based on its investigation, the SDHR determined that Complainant could not and did not provide any evidence to support a conclusion that she was discriminated against due to her alleged disability; the Complainant did not even establish that she had made the District aware of her alleged disability.