The opinion of the court was delivered by: SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, District Judge
Defendant ChaRosa Foundation Corp. ("ChaRosa" or "defendant") has moved
to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated below, the motion is
ChaRosa, founded by Charles Alien ("Alien") and Rose Geneva
("Geneva"),*fn1 is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that
provides cultural and educational programs for the community. (Mem. of Law
in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. to Dimiss at 1-2). Plaintiff Edith Culbertson
("Culbertson" or "plaintiff) was hired by defendant on September 13, 1999
as a program director. (Compl. at 4). Ms. Culbertson claims she had had
several years of experience
working for other non-profit organizations, and was attracted to
ChaRosa by a promise of more responsibility, the opportunity to reach a
larger community, and better benefits, (Id.).
Ms. Culbertson alleges that as soon as she was hired, "Mr. Alien
immediately began to engage in behaviors that were abusive, threatening
and discriminatory." (Id. at 5). While plaintiff claims that Mr. Alien
treated his entire staff poorly, she "caught the brunt of his abuse"
since she worked directly with Mr. Alien (Id.). According to Ms.
Culbertson, she "felt like a trapped animal." (Id. at 6). Examples of
Mr. Alien's allegedly offensive behavior include: demanding that
plaintiff "bring the women under control"; ordering plaintiff to
investigate female employees but not male employees; failing to support
her efforts to direct programs; pouring gasoline in a garbage can to scare
her; and yelling at plaintiff in the basement after she decorated her desk
with white and black bows. (Id.). Plaintiff was terminated on or about
December 12, 1999.
On October 10, 2000, plaintiff filed a verified complaint with the City
of New York Commission on Human Rights (the "NYCCHR") against ChaRosa,
Mr. Alien, and Ms. Geneva, which was also accepted on behalf of the
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC").
(NYCCHR Determination and Order at I). In her complaint, plaintiff
alleges that "respondents have discriminated against her by denying her
equal terms and conditions of employment and terminating her employment
because of her gender . . ." (NYCCHR Verified Compl. ¶ 8). No mention
was made of discrimination on any other basis.
On August 2, 2002, the NYCCHR dismissed plaintiff's complaint,
concluding that "there
is no probable cause to believe that the respondents have engaged
or are engaging in the unlawful discriminatory practices alleged."
(NYCCHR Determination and Order at 1). The NYCCHR Determination and Order
After Investigation stated:
The investigation further revealed that although
respondent Alien was found to have treated his staff
in an oppressive manner, the Commission has found
nothing to substantiate the complainant's allegations
that she alone was discriminated against because she
is female. The investigation revealed that not only
were other women in the office ill-treated by
respondent Alien, but also that male co-workers were
subjected to harsh treatment by respondent Alien. . .
. The evidence revealed that respondent Alien was
abusive to all of his employees. Therefore, the
Commission has determined that there is no probable
cause that discriminatory animus played a role in
respondents' actions towards the complainant.
(Id. at 1-2). The EEOC adopted the findings of the NYCCHR and dismissed
plaintiff's complaint on May 1, 2003, (EEOC Dismissal and Notice of Rights
On July 23, 2003, plaintiff filed the instant complaint pro se
alleging that defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII") and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
("ADEA") by discriminating against her on the basis of gender, race,
religion, and age, and by retaliating against her for filing charges.
(Compl. at 1-3). On November 17, 2003, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defendant filed the instant motion to
dismiss on the grounds of: (1) failure to comply with the statute of
limitations; (2) failure to exhaust administrative remedies; and (3)
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Mem. of Law
in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. to Dimiss at 1).
A. Statute of Limitations
To commence a claim for unlawful discrimination under Title VE or the
ADEA, a plaintiff must file administration charges with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or with "a State or local
agency with authority to grant or seek relief from such practice."
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e) (1994) (Title VE); see 29 U.S.C. § 626(d) (1994)
(ADEA); see also Holtz v. Rockefeller & Co., 258 F.3d 62, 82-83 (2d Cir.
2001). For a Title VII or ADEA claim to be timely, it must be filed
within ninety (90) days of the claimant's receipt of a right-to-sue
letter. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); see also Baldwin County Welcome
Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 149-50, 80 L.Ed.2d 196, 104 S.Ct. 1723
(1984)(per curiam); Sherlock v. Montefiore Med. Ctr., 84 F.3d 522, 525 (2d
Cir. 1996). This ninety (90) day period begins to run on the date the
plaintiff receives ...