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BRADY v. KBI SEC. SERVICE

March 27, 2000

STEVEN BRADY, ANTHONY LASTER, ANGELO F. DALLAS, CURTIS J. FROST, AND MARK FRANKLIN, PLAINTIFFS,
V.
KBI SECURITY SERVICE, INC. AND ROBERT KING, DEFENDANTS.



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

  MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Steven Brady, Anthony Laster, Angelo F. Dallas, Curtis J. Frost, and Mark Franklin bring this consolidated civil rights suit against defendants KBI Security Service, Inc. ("KBI") and Robert King, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), the New York Executive Law § 296, and Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants created a racially hostile work environment, that they were terminated because of their race, and that they were terminated in retaliation for protected activity. Defendants move for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.

I

The record, in substance, shows the following.

Defendant KBI is a security agency licensed to offer security services in New York. Plaintiffs were each employed with KBI approximately between the years 1989 and 1995 as security guards and were assigned to work at Lindsay Park Apartments ("Lindsay Park"), an apartment complex comprised of over two thousand cooperative apartments in Brooklyn, New York. KBI contracted with Lindsay Park to provide an unarmed security force of approximately 40 security guards to patrol and protect the complex on a 24-hour basis.

According to defendants, security guards employed by KBI are subject to "strict regulations regarding the chain of command, uniforms and appearance, tardiness and attendance, and conduct while on duty," and KBI operates like a "para-military organization." The commanding officer of the security force at Lindsay Park was Inspector Robert Foglia ("Foglia"). He had the "ultimate authority to assign, transfer, discipline and terminate Lindsay Park security guards," but was not involved in any hiring decisions. Defendant Robert King is the president and sole shareholder of KBI.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendants harassed them in retaliation for filing claims with the New York State Labor Relations Board ("Labor Board") for denial of pay and benefits owed them under the collective bargaining agreement with their union and on account of their African-American race. They claim that these were also the reasons for their termination.

At various times either before or after their terminations, each plaintiff filed charges with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("Equal Employment Commission"), alleging the defendants had racially discriminated against them. They each also filed grievances with the Labor Board to challenge their terminations. The Labor Board denied all of their grievances, finding in substance that KBI had discharged them for just cause. The Equal Employment Commission denied the complaints of Brady, Laster, and Franklin, finding in substance that KBI did not discriminate against them on the basis of national origin or race. The parties do not provide further information as to the disposition of Dallas's and Frost's charges with the Equal Employment Commission.

II

Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the moving party is entitled to summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

The substantive law governing the case will determine those facts that are material, and "only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Summary judgment is warranted only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

Moreover, "the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts . . . must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986).

III

Plaintiff's amended complaint makes three claims: that defendants (1) created a racially hostile work environment; (2) terminated them at least in part because of their race or national origin; and (3) terminated them in retaliation for performing activities protected under Title VII and state law.

Plaintiffs' claims under New York State and New York City law will be analyzed under the law of Title VII, whose standards New York courts have adopted for the adjudication of civil rights claims brought under the New York Executive Law and Title 8 of the Administrative Code of New York City. See Cruz v. Coach Stores, Inc., 202 F.3d 560, 565, ...


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