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MORALES v. HUMAN RIGHTS DIV.

February 21, 1995

SARA MORALES and JUAN NUNEZ, Plaintiffs, against HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION, Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN F. KEENAN

 JOHN F. KEENAN, United States District Judge:

 Preliminary Statement

 Plaintiffs Sara Morales and Juan Nunez, employees of the Division of Human Rights (the "Division"), commenced this action, pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, § 701 et seq., as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"). They allege that they were the victims of discrimination by the Division on account of their national origin, which they identified alternatively as Hispanic or Latino. *fn1" Sara Morales seeks compensatory damages of $ 27,082, as well as one million dollars. Juan Nunez seeks compensatory damages of $ 38,500, as well as one million dollars.

 Findings of Fact

 1. Procedural background

 Plaintiff Juan Nunez was hired by the Division in June 1988 as a Human Rights Specialist Trainee Level I ("HRST-I"), Spanish-speaking, salary grade 13. The position carries a two-year traineeship. Plaintiff Sara Morales was hired by the Division in December 1989 as a HRST-I, salary grade 13, also for a two-year traineeship. *fn3" Each Plaintiff had passed a Civil Service examination. During the term of their employment, both Plaintiffs served in the Bronx outstation of the Division, although at separate time periods.

 A Human Rights Specialist ("HRS") is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination and determining whether there is probable cause to believe that the alleged discrimination occurred. Tasks and Standards of the Division set forth that a HRST-I is expected to close six cases per month by the second half of the first year of training.

 From December 1988 to December 1989, Plaintiff Nunez was the only HRS or HRST-(Spanish-speaking) at the upper Manhattan unit. By May 14, 1992, the Division was cognizant that a report commissioned by the Division and transmitted to Lynne Weikart, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Division, (the Holtzer Report) recommended the hiring of additional Spanish-speaking specialists. On September 21, 1992, the Division formed a task force, which included Barbara Reilly Shaw, the Division's Deputy Commissioner for Regional Affairs, and Jane Rubin, the Division's Administrative Officer- On October 2, 1992, the task force transmitted findings to Commissioner Rosa recommending, inter alia, that more Hispanics should be hired.

 On October 13, 1992, Plaintiff Morales filed a claim against the Division with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC"), alleging discrimination. Also on October 13, 1992, plaintiff Nunez filed a claim against the Division with the EEOC, alleging discrimination. On March 8, 1993, Plaintiff Morales filed a second claim against the Division with the EEOC, alleging retaliation. Also on March 8, 1993, plaintiff Nunez filed a second claim against the Division with the EEOC, alleging retaliation. Both Plaintiffs withdrew their EEOC complaints before that agency reached a determination. Each Plaintiff received a "Right to Sue" letter from the EEOC. *fn4"

 Neither Plaintiff alleges a disparate impact claim and their allegations of discrimination are limited to offices of the Division within the City of New York. As their lawyer stated in his opening, their claim is that "plaintiffs . . . suffered discrimination as part of the pattern and practice of the defendant" (Tr. at 6). *fn5"

 The evidence at trial was that a greater percentage of Division employees are African-American or White than are Hispanic (DX G & T). Nevertheless, in 1993 and 1994, the Division had the highest percentage of Hispanic employees of all other state agencies, except for the Governor's Office of Hispanic Affairs which had eight members, all of whom are Hispanic (Tr. at 972-74, 976-77; DX G & T).

 In September 1992, Plaintiffs prepared a long letter setting forth their contentions about the alleged improper treatment of Latinos by the Division (Tr. at 233, 533). There were two versions of the document. The first was unsigned and apparently was circulated throughout the Division (Tr. at 533). The second version was signed and delivered to Commissioner Rosa prior to meetings each Plaintiff had with the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Weikart, on or about September 17 and 18, 1992.

 Plaintiff Nunez described his meeting with the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Weikart as hostile in tone (Tr. at 521, 531-540). Commissioner Rosa, on the other hand, testified that although she felt hurt by the allegations in the letter, she assured plaintiff Nunez that the charges would be investigated (Tr. at 961). The Court accepts Commissioner Rosa's version of the meeting. The Court rejects Plaintiff Nunez's testimony on the meeting as his version does not ring true. His assertion that the Commissioner told him that "she was going to defend it in court," after admitting that he never mentioned that he planned to sue the Division (Tr. at 539, 540), is only one example of his inconsistent and unreliable testimony on the subject. Commissioner Rosa testified compellingly that in response to the letter signed by Plaintiff Nunez she confirmed the Division's commitment to treating all employees equally. She then directed that

 
(1) diversity training designed to help employees of different races and cultures to work together harmoniously, be conducted for all employees,
 
(2) a Committee on Work Force Utilization, with members from various ethnic groups, be established to study the issues raised in the ...

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