Earlier this year, a New York appellate court issued a written opinion in a New York gender discrimination case brought by a woman who claims to have been fired because she made her boss’ wife jealous. The case presented the appellate court with a unique opportunity to discuss whether the plaintiff’s allegations were sufficient to state a cause of action under the New York anti-discrimination statutes. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s case should proceed toward trial or settlement negotiations.
The plaintiff was an employee at a New York City wellness center that provides massage therapy services as well as yoga classes. The owners of the center, a husband and wife, both had managerial roles in the company, with the husband being the plaintiff’s direct supervisor.
According to the court’s recitation of the facts, the plaintiff’s relationship with the husband was “purely professional,” and he seemed happy with her work. However, at some point, the husband told the plaintiff that his wife might become jealous of her because she was “too cute.”