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