Race Discrimination Failure-to-Promote Claim Survives Dismissal

In McGrier v. Capital Cardiology, 1:20-cv-01044 (BKS/DJS), 2022 WL 2105854 (N.D.N.Y. June 10, 2022), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s failure-to-promote race discrimination claim asserted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Plaintiff asserted a number of adverse employment actions, including receipt of a corrective action notice, and failure to promote to a holter monitor tech position and nursing support position, micromanagement, relocation to a smaller office, and additional work duties, supervisory inaction in response to complaints of bullying, and investigation and threats of disciplinary actions and termination, and constructive discharge.

However, only one alleged “adverse action” made the cut: the failure to promote claim pertaining to the holter monitor tech position.

Turning to the “inference of discrimination” element, the court explained:

Plaintiff’s allegations that he was told EKG experience was required for the Holter Monitor Tech position and that he should not apply if he did not have the requisite experience, but that Defendant hired Caucasian employees without that experience, are sufficient to plausibly allege an inference of racial discrimination. See id. at 313 (finding allegations that following her demotion, the plaintiff “was replaced by a white … employee” who was less qualified were “sufficient to make plausible her claim that her demotion occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination”). Thus, at this stage, the Court finds that Plaintiff has plausibly racial discrimination on the basis of failure to promote for the Holter Monitor Tech position.

The court, however, held that plaintiff failed to allege gender discrimination with respect to the holter monitor tech position, noting that “Plaintiff’s allegations that Defendant hired both a female and a male for the position undermine any such inference in this case.”

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