Hut-Hut-Hike: The Second Circuit Tackles Hostile Work Environment Claims Under the ADA

In a case of first impression, the Second Circuit has held that hostile work environment claims are cognizable under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, No.17‐0936‐CV (2d Cir. Mar. 6, 2019), the Second Circuit joined the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits to recognize this cause of action under the ADA.  The court also provided useful guidance on when teasing may or may not suffice to establish a hostile work environment. The plaintiff, Christopher Fox, worked for Costco in New York for 21 years, and he suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  As part of Fox’s neurological condition, he would often touch the floor before moving and cough prior to a verbal tic in order to prevent others from hearing him swear.  After a change in management in 2013, Fox’s work environment deteriorated.  He alleged that his coworkers would say…

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