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BROWER-COAD v. FUNDAMENTAL BROKERS

March 26, 1993

VIRGINIA BROWER-COAD, Plaintiff,
v.
FUNDAMENTAL BROKERS, INC., GNUBROKERS MANAGEMENT CORP., MMAR GROUP INC., CORY J. MINER, and PAUL I. BROWN, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT P. PATTERSON, JR.

 ROBERT PATTERSON, JR., U.S.D.J.

 On March 6, 1992, Virginia Brower-Coad filed a complaint against Fundamental Brokers, Inc. ("FBI") and Gnubrokers Management Corp. ("GMC") seeking, inter alia, back pay and monetary damages arising out of alleged discrimination on account of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, § 703, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 ("Title VII"), and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d) ("Equal Pay Act"), and alleging discrimination on account of sex and pregnancy-related disability in violation of § 296 of the Executive Law of the State of New York (the "Executive Law"). *fn1" On September 30, 1992, Plaintiff amended her complaint by naming the additional defendants Cory J. Miner, Paul I. Brown, and MMAR Group, Inc. ("MMAR Defendants"). The MMAR Defendants now move to dismiss Brower-Coad's amended complaint against them for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. For reasons set forth below, defendants' motion to dismiss is denied.

 BACKGROUND

 The amended complaint alleges the following as facts. Plaintiff first came to FBI in November 1986 as an office supervisor. In 1987, she was promoted to office manager and several months later became an assistant product manager. In 1988, plaintiff married another FBI employee, Andrew Coad. In June 1989, plaintiff was promoted to product manager, and in August, she began reporting directly to FBI President David Quigley ("Quigley") who told plaintiff that he was upset when he learned she had married a fellow employee. *fn2"

 In November 1989, plaintiff Brower-Coad was offered the job of Director of Human Resources replacing a woman who was terminated by FBI due to her pregnancy. After accepting the new position, plaintiff stopped reporting to Quigley. Plaintiff's promotion came without a raise, and, according to the amended complaint, made her the only female non-broker manager at FBI. She alleges that she was paid substantially less than FBI's male managers for equal work on jobs performed under similar working conditions, requiring equal skill, efforts, and responsibility.

 Brower-Coad went into labor on December 12, 1990, giving birth December 13. Afterwards, plaintiff and FBI agreed that she would return to work on April 1, 1991, with the company continuing her salary until then.

 During late 1990 or early 1991, around the start of Brower-Coad's maternity leave, the MMAR Defendants created Gnubrokers Holding Inc. ("GHI") allegedly for the purpose of acquiring FBI. Cory Miner and Paul Brown, the principal controlling shareholders of the MMAR Group Inc., became officers, directors, and principal shareholders of GHI during GHI's formation. On February 28, 1991, during Brower-Coad's maternity leave, GHI acquired FBI's assets for GMC, its wholly owned subsidiary. Thereafter, plaintiff was called to the office by Michael Miner, a GHI representative and defendant Cory Miner's brother, and they agreed she would return to work April 8, 1991.

 Brower-Coad, on April 8, 1991, returned to work to find most of her office furniture gone. She called Michael Miner to learn what had happened. Michael Miner came into the office and discharged her. *fn4"

 Plaintiff originally sued FBI and GMC on March 6, 1992, alleging violations of the aforementioned statutes. Earlier, on August 28, 1992, plaintiff's counsel in this action had filed involuntary bankruptcy petitions, on behalf of other persons, against FBI and GHI. On October 9, 1992, GMC, the other original defendant in this action, filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition. *fn5"

 In September 1992, plaintiff amended her complaint by adding the MMAR Defendants, alleging that the MMAR Defendants, FBI, and GMC were a "single employer" within the ambit of pertinent laws, thus making the MMAR Defendants potentially liable for any illegal discriminatory acts committed by FBI and GMC.

 The MMAR Defendants move pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for dismissal of the amended complaint against them. Defendants concede for the purposes of this motion that they, FBI, and GMC are a single employer, but argue that single employer status alone is insufficient to state a claim for liability. The MMAR Defendants assert they cannot be sued for plaintiff's alleged injuries unless plaintiff alleges that they actually ...


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