Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment Claim Sufficiently Alleged Against Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. and Individual Defendant

In Antoine v. Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. et al, 19-cv-5676, 2020 WL 5752186 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2020), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged hostile work environment sexual harassment against defendants, and therefore granted plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment.

From the decision:

Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim hinges primarily on two incidents. Whether considered individually or collectively, however, the alleged conduct easily surpasses the threshold of severity. First, in January 2019, Henestroza allegedly induced plaintiff to enter his bedroom on the pretense that she was on a cleaning assignment, and instead, propositioned her for sex and inquired about her sexual history. After plaintiff declined, Henestroza volunteered an unsolicited description of his penis and reiterated his romantic interest in her. She rebuffed him, to which Henestroza responded with an offer of additional work hours “to help her.” Then, in February 2019, Henestroza joined plaintiff on a cleaning assignment, presumably to help her with the laundry, but, in fact, as a pretext to contrive a sexual encounter. Plaintiff alleges Henestroza sexually assaulted her. He locked the door, groped her, pushed her onto the bed, and coerced Ms. Antoine into having sex with him. Plaintiff thereafter reiterated that she was not sexually interested in Henestroza, but this time, instead of offering to “help her,” he withheld her wages.

The court held that “Henestroza’s sexual assault of plaintiff in February 2019 was independently severe enough to create a hostile and abusive work environment, and constitutes per se liability under Title VII and the NYSHRL.”

And since these claims were sufficiently alleged under federal and state law, they were necessarily sufficiently alleged under the comparatively broader New York City Human Rights Law.

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