Sticks and stones: hostile work environment claims under the ADA

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has long allowed an employee to establish discrimination through the existence of a "hostile work environment." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, whose decisions control in New York, has recently recognized a hostile work environment claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Joining its "sister Circuits," the Second Circuit held that a disabled employee could allege his coworkers' taunts and mockery amounted to a hostile work environment prohibited by law. While the Second Circuit didn't hold the coworkers' alleged words and actions were illegal under the ADA, it held open the possibility that sufficiently "severe and pervasive" maltreatment may subject an employer to liability under the ADA.

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