Census Bureau Employee’s Employment Discrimination Claims Dismissed

In Adeniji v. U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau NY Regional Office, 2020 WL 882166 (S.D.N.Y. 2020), the court dismissed the claims by plaintiff – a Census Bureau employee – for employment discrimination.

Initially, the court dismissed plaintiff’s claims of discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the NYS Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, “because these claims arise from Plaintiff’s federal employment.”

Rather, held the court, plaintiff must rely on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). Section 1981 prohibits discrimination “on account of [a person’s] race, ancestry, or ethnic characteristics.” Zemsky v. City of New York, 821 F.2d 148, 150 (2d Cir. 1987). But Title VII is the exclusive remedy by which a federal employee can pursue a claim of employment discrimination that is based on the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Brown v. GSA, 425 U.S. 820, 828-29, 35 (1976) (Because Title VII is the exclusive remedy for a federal employee to challenge employment discrimination that is based on the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, other relief, including § 1981 relief, is unavailable to a federal employee); Garvin v. Potter, 367 F. Supp. 2d 548, 559-60 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) (a federal employee cannot challenge employment discrimination that is based on the characteristics protected in Title VII under the NYSHRL or the NYCHRL because, under Brown, Title VII is the exclusive remedy for a federal employee to challenge such discrimination).

Plaintiff, a Census Bureau employee, alleges that officials from that agency have discriminated against him in his employment because of his race, religion, sex, and national origin. But as Title VII is the exclusive remedy for such employment discrimination against a federal employee, relief is unavailable to Plaintiff under any other law. Accordingly, the Court dismisses Plaintiff’s claims under § 1981, the NYSHRL, and the NYCHRL for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

Turning to plaintiff’s Title VII claim, the court dismissed that claim, finding that plaintiff alleged no facts that suggest that Census Bureau officials took adverse action against him on the ground of his race, religion, sex, or national origin.