Race Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Dismissed With Leave to Replead

In Ming v. A.E.G. Mgmt., No. 15-CV-643 JG, 2015 WL 5038222 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 26, 2015), the court dismissed plaintiff’s race discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Initially, the court held that “Ming’s complaint fails to state a claim under Title VII for discrimination on the basis of race because he has not identified himself as a member of a protected class based on race, nor has he presented any facts indicating that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race.”

As to his retaliation claim, the court held:

Ming alleges that he complained about sexual harassment or a hostile work environment on behalf of a female employee. His employer was aware of his complaint at least as early as of September 2, 2014[.] However, Ming has not alleged that his employer took any materially adverse action against him as a result of his complaints on behalf of the other employee. He alleges that after he complained, he received frequent calls to “stand in front of the camera” in the stairwell while he was on security patrol. It is not clear that he suffered any actionable change to his work environment after he complained. He was suspended on January 12, 2015, and the complaint draws no connection between the making or filing of his complaints and the eventual suspension. Accordingly, the complaint fails to state a claim for relief, and must be dismissed[.]

Because plaintiff was pro se, the court granted him leave to file an amended complaint to allege facts that would support a claim for race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII.

For that purpose, the court provided the following guidance, which is helpful for pro se and represented plaintiffs alike:

In order state a claim for race discrimination pursuant to Title VII, he must allege that he is a member of a protected class; that he was qualified for the position; that he was subject to an adverse employment decision, e.g., being fired or demoted; and that the adverse employment decision was made under circumstances giving rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination. To state a claim for retaliation pursuant to Title VII, he must allege that he was engaged in a protected activity, i.e., complaining about discrimination, of which his employer was aware; that he was thereafter subjected to an adverse employment action; and that there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. Ming should include the dates and details of all relevant events, including complaints he made and subsequent actions by his supervisors, as well as any changes in the condition or status of his employment.

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