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WILLIAMS v. CHASE MANHATTAN BANK

January 16, 1990

MILDRED W. WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, N.A., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweet, District Judge.

Plaintiff Mildred W. Williams ("Williams") moves to file a second amended complaint ("Second Amended Complaint") pursuant to Rule 15(a), Fed.R.Civ.P. Defendant Chase Manhattan Bank ("Chase") moves to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P. For the reasons set forth below, Williams' motion to amend her complaint for a second time is granted, and defendant's motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

Parties

Williams is a black female who began employment with Chase, in January, 1969 as a teller. In 1979 Williams was promoted to the position of assistant manager ("Assistant Manager"). Williams left Chase on February 4, 1987.

Chase is a New York corporation with its principal offices at One Chase Manhattan Plaza, New York, New York, and is engaged through many branch offices in the general field of banking.

Prior Proceedings

Williams filed this federal court action pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 ("1981") and the New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law § 296 et seq. on July 7, 1987. Williams bases these claims on the same set of facts and events. On January 23, 1989 Williams filed an Amended Complaint with Chase's consent. On June 22, 1989, Chase filed this motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), on June 22, 1989 and on August 17, 1989 Williams filed a Second Amended Complaint. Oral arguments were heard on these motions on October 20, 1989 and considered fully submitted as of that date.

Facts as Pleaded

This lawsuit concerns a series of events alleged to have taken place over a three-year period beginning 1983 and ending on February 4, 1987 when Williams left Chase. Williams contends that while employed in various positions with Chase, because of her race, she was subjected to discriminatory treatment. This discrimination included denial of promotions and harassment in her employment conditions.

Williams became an Assistant Manager in February, 1978; she managed Branch # 238 as an assistant during 1982 and 1983 for about fifteen months. Williams alleges that, contrary to Chase's policy and practice, she was not promoted to the position of branch manager ("Branch Manager") and that she was not compensated appropriately for her managerial duties.

In 1983, Williams was interviewed by George Witt for the position of Second-in-Charge of Branch # 230. Witt allegedly promised Williams that she would be promoted to assistant treasurer ("Assistant Treasurer"), a position which would have made her an officer of the bank at that particular branch. Following this interview, Williams' supervisors, Agatha Kimmel, Branch Manager, and Richard Eiter, Zone Manager, harassed, criticized and ultimately prevented Williams' promised promotion. Kimmel and Eiter transferred Williams to Branch # 013 in February of 1984.

Thereafter, Williams' new supervisors, Anita D'Angelo and Frank Mangini allegedly favored white employees over Williams for promotions. Williams requested a promotion to Assistant Treasurer at Branch # 013, but she was passed over for three white males who were allegedly less qualified than Williams. Williams was also denied a promotion to Assistant Treasurer at other branch offices to which she applied.

In October, 1986, Williams was disciplined when Branch # 013 lost funds due to a series of forgeries. D'Angelo and another of Williams' supervisors, William Bergen, informed Williams that her salary and bonuses would be frozen for over three years. Williams alleges that this disciplinary action was baseless and discriminatorily issued. Williams left Chase on February 4, 1987.

The Issues

Williams alleges that she has been subjected to discriminatory treatment in violation of ยง 1981. To support these allegations and to provide a cognizable claim, Williams moves to amend her complaint for a ...


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