New York museum named in gender discrimination case
The former director of El Museo del Barrio in Harlem is pursuing a gender discrimination lawsuit against the museum, saying that she suffered from a hostile work environment and eventually wrongful termination because of her gender. The complaint was filed with the New York state human rights authorities.
Employees in New York have a right to be free from gender-based harassment and discrimination and do not have to tolerate a hostile working environment. Employees whose rights are violated can file complaints as the woman did in this case, or they can pursue alternative means of resolving the problem.
In this case, the former museum director says that she was subject to discrimination when she was told to lose weight and change the way she was dressing at work. The woman’s attorney told reporters that two members of the executive board were the main perpetrators of the discriminatory behavior, telling her and another staff member that they were “acting like hysterical women” during a discussion about another employee. The museum terminated her employment last month, citing insufficient fund raising, ineffective leadership, and saying that she failed to appear for a hearing regarding her discrimination complaints.
There is a lot of controversy involved in this case and many allegations coming from both sides of the dispute about the truth of why the director was fired. These issues will likely be resolved through ongoing investigation by the state authorities and by the parties themselves as they seek to put an end to the dispute.
Source: New York Times, “El Museo del Barrio Named in Discrimination Claim,” Felicia R. Lee, Feb. 22, 3013.
More information about gender discrimination in New York workplaces can be found on our employment law site.