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WOODCOCK v. MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER

March 11, 1999

GLORIA WOODCOCK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER, THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL OF THE ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY CARE CENTER, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

In this Title VII action, plaintiff Gloria Woodcock ("Woodcock"), an American citizen of Panamanian origin, claims discrimination based on race and national origin. Defendant Montefiore Medical Center ("Montefiore") now moves to dismiss portions of plaintiff's First, Second and Third Causes of Action, and the Fourth Cause of Action in its entirety pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6) and 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the following reasons, defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

On July 1, 1989, Woodcock was hired by Montefiore as a Patient Care Coordinator for the Pediatric Unit of the hospital's Comprehensive Family Care Center.*fn1 She remained in that position until she resigned on July 3, 1996. In her letter of resignation, she states the following:

    I have enjoyed my association with Comprehensive
  Family Care Center for the past twenty two years. I
  have grown professionally and the cohesive working
  relationship which I have experienced with other
  departmental staff in addition to the family-like
  atmosphere

  we shared, is something I will carry with me for a
  very long time. It has been a pleasure caring for my
  patients, their children, grandchildren, and watching
  them develop over the years.
    However, the mandated changes in my working
  conditions and the increase in my traveling time
  aggravates a preexisting physical condition which
  makes it difficult for me to continue my association
  with CFCC. In addition, it has been and continues to
  be increasingly difficult for me to take my vacations
  appropriately due to staff shortage.
    Therefore, I am resigning my position as the
  Patient Care Coordinator of Pediatrics. . . .
  Effective July 3, 1996.

Exhibit 4 to Answer.

Despite the glowing assessment of her employment relationship with Montefiore, plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination directly with the New York State Division of Human Rights ("NYSDHR") on April 9, 1997, alleging that Montefiore discriminated against her on the basis of her national origin in violation of Title VII 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. and New York's Human Rights Law (N.Y.Exec.Law § 290, et seq.). See Exhibit B to Answer. That agency forwarded plaintiff's complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), which actually investigated the claim and ultimately issued plaintiff a "Right to Sue" letter.

Woodcock then filed the present action, which, in addition to the charge of national origin discrimination alleged in her NYSDHR complaint, alleges discrimination based on her race and ethnicity in violation of Title VII, New York's Human Rights Law and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and a claim for breach of contract.

Regarding the discrimination complained of, plaintiff alleges that her former supervisor, Joann Richardson, began to harass her in July 1995 "by making derogatory remarks about `people from the Island' and by speaking to [her] in a[n] unprofessional manner using many profanities." Compl. ¶ 7. Plaintiff claims that these alleged comments triggered a preexisting asthmatic condition which was in remission, and aggravated a lymph edema, thereby forcing her to resign. Id. ¶¶ 10, 13.

Defendant now moves to dismiss: (1) those portions of the First and Second Causes alleging racial discrimination and violations of the Human Rights Law asserting that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear those claims; (2) the Third Cause of Action, premised upon a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 to the extent it is based on national origin discrimination; and (3) the Fourth Cause of Action for breach of contract in its entirety.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard for Motion to ...


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