Race, Gender, National Origin Discrimination Claims Dismissed Against City of New York

From Mohan v The City of New York, No. 151018/2019, 2020 WL 1546404, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 30729(U), 5 (N.Y. Sup Ct, New York County Mar. 03, 2020):

As it pertains to plaintiff’s claims of discrimination, the court finds that plaintiff has not proffered evidence suggesting that on the basis of her race, gender, or national origin she was subjected to disparate treatment. To establish a prima facie case for discrimination, a plaintiff must show that he or she is a member of a protected class; was qualified for the position held; suffered an adverse employment action; and the adverse action occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination. Here, while plaintiff argues generally about a culture of discriminatory practices, she fails to assert specific instances in which she was specifically discriminated against on the basis of her race, national origin, or gender. For example, plaintiff asserts that because she did not receive performance evaluations she was never considered for promotions, job assignments, or bonuses but fails to assert a specific instance in which she requested same and was denied or that she was qualified for receipt or consideration of a bonus or promotion and was denied.

Further, the specific instances that are provided by plaintiff either pertain to colleagues and do not involve plaintiff directly, or, as the City correctly argues, are time-barred. For instance, plaintiff asserts that in January of 2014, Aaronson assigned Karen Cohen to a cubicle next to plaintiff’s despite plaintiff’s discrimination complaint against her. Plaintiff also asserts that Rivera made sexual overtures to her in 2015,10 that plaintiff did not receive performance evaluations for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and that on the basis of her race plaintiff was demoted on January 11, 2016. As plaintiff commenced this action on January 29, 2019, the court cannot consider these incidents because they are time-barred as a civil action under NYCHRL must be commenced within three years of the alleged discriminatory conduct.

Continuing, the court explained its decision to dismiss plaintiff’s non-time barred retaliation claims, finding that plaintiff’s assertion “that all actions taken by administration after plaintiff filed dual charges with EEOC and NYSDHR constituted retaliation” was not supported by the record.

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