Teacher’s Age Discrimination Claim Dismissed; Allegation of Tenure and Length of Employment Insufficient

In Herz v. City of New York et al, 2021 WL 134528 (S.D.N.Y.  Jan. 14, 2021), the court, inter alia, held that the plaintiff did not plausibly plead a claim of age- and tenure-based discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law.

The court found the case of Gundlach, 11 Civ. 846, 2012 WL 1520919 (S.D.N.Y. May 1, 2012) to be instructive. There, the court held that “the plaintiff’s failure to plead his age and his sole allegation that, after his termination, some of his work was given to a younger employee, did not support the inference that the defendant employer considered his age during termination.”

Here, the court observed, the plaintiff did not plead “his age or his proximity to retirement, merely that he has tenure and worked for a teacher for roughly 17 years”, or “discriminatory comments about his age, younger employees receiving preferential treatment or older employees facing similar circumstances, or any additional facts regarding Defendants’ motivation to remove him from his post for his proximity to retirement.”

The court concluded that this case, like the Gundlach case, involved “facts that, while not inconsistent with age discrimination, do not support a plausible inference that such prohibited conduct occurred” such that “[w]ithout more, this claim cannot stand.”

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