Employee May Bring Hostile Work Environment Claim Under the ADA


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit joined several other federal Circuits in finding that hostile work environment claims are cognizable under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corp., an employee with Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder alleged that his coworkers mimicked his verbal and physical tics. He sued under federal and state law, asserting a hostile work environment claim, among other things. The Second Circuit, for the first time, specifically addressed whether such a claim can be brought under the ADA. Observing that the language of the ADA was borrowed from that of Title VII, under which such claims have been recognized, the Second Circuit found that a hostile work environment claim exists under the ADA as well.