NYC Teacher’s ADA Retaliation Claim Survives Dismissal

In Zabar v. New York City Department of Education, 2020 WL 2423450 (S.D.N.Y. May 12, 2020) (J. Gardephe), the court, inter alia, denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s retaliation claim asserted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

From the decision:

Plaintiff claims that she engaged in protected activity in the summer of 2016, when she requested a classroom change because of her anxiety disorder, and in September 2016, when she requested that all “instructions, reminders, and updates” be in writing, because of her anxiety disorder and major depression condition. (Am. Cmplt. (Dkt. No. 37) ¶¶ 23-24) Plaintiff further alleges that she repeated the request for written communications “throughout the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.” (Id. ¶ 25) Plaintiff also claims that she engaged in protected activity when she filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC in March 2018. (Id. ¶¶ 49-50)

As discussed above, the Amended Complaint cites numerous alleged adverse employment actions that took place in late 2016, and throughout 2017 and 2018. Assuming arguendo that claims premised on adverse actions taken before May 19, 2017 are time-barred, the Amended Complaint lists numerous disciplinary letters and poor evaluations from March and May 2018 that are in close proximity to Plaintiff’s EEOC complaint. See, e.g., id. ¶¶ 51-54. These allegations are sufficient to demonstrate temporal proximity. Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s ADA retaliation claim will be denied.


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