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MANKO v. DEUTSCHE BANK

March 19, 2004.

LIUBA MANKO, Plaintiff, -against- DEUTSCHE BANK, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS GRIESA, Senior District Judge

Opinion

This is an action by pro se plaintiff Liuda Manko against her former employer, the New York branch of Deutsche Bank AG,*fn1 alleging discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-17, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621-634, and the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).

Now before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint. Defendant alleges four grounds for dismissal: first, that plaintiff failed to effect service on the defendant within 120 days from the filing of the complaint, as specified by Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m); second, that certain of plaintiff's claims are barred as beyond the scope of the charges brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"); third, that plaintiff cannot bring allegations pursuant to the ADEA because Page 2 she was not forty years of age at the time of her termination; and finally that plaintiff's claims under the Equal Pay Act are time-barred. This motion does not concern plaintiff's claims of discrimination on the basis of national origin and sex, nor does it concern what appears to be a separate cause of action alleged for failure to pay plaintiff a severance package upon her termination.

  For the reasons set forth, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

  FACTS

  The following facts are taken from the pleadings and the affidavits on the motion.

  Plaintiff is a forty-two year old woman born in Russia and of the Jewish faith. She was employed as a Junior Programmer/Analyst at the New York branch of Deutsche Bank from July 8, 1996 until her termination on March 23, 1999.

  The amended complaint alleges that defendant initially hired plaintiff at a lower position than that for which she had applied and was qualified — Programmer/Analyst — because of plaintiff's gender and strong Russian accent. The amended complaint further alleges that despite positive performance evaluations and technical abilities superior her coworkers, plaintiff never received a promotion due to her gender and Russian accent. Throughout her time at Deutsche Bank, plaintiff alleges that her Page 3 salary and bonuses were lower than those of her coworkers and inadequately reflected her experience and education, owing to her gender and accent.

  Plaintiff also alleges that she was sexually harassed by a supervisor while employed by defendant. The complaint alleges that in about May 1997 Philip Giordano, a manager, asked plaintiff on a date, and plaintiff replied that she was already dating somebody else. Two weeks later, the amended complaint alleges that Giordano saw plaintiff arrive to work at 9:40 a.m. with another employee, Mark Millen. The amended complaint alleges that Giordano called plaintiff and Millen into his office and threatened to fire them. The amended complaint alleges that after that incident plaintiff and Giordano had a poor working relationship, and that Giordano began to demand that plaintiff arrive work from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day.

  Plaintiff also alleges that defendant imposed onerous conditions and constraints on her employment in retaliation against her for complaints she made to a supervisor. The amended complaint alleges that in July 1998 plaintiff requested a meeting with Anthony McCarty, who was the head of her department. At this meeting plaintiff complained, among other matters, about her low salary and lack of promotion, and that Giordano was harassing her regarding her work hours. The amended complaint alleges that after the meeting plaintiff was called to Human Resources and Page 4 told that she would be fired if she did not arrive to work by 9 a.m. each day. Plaintiff alleges that on this occasion she complained to Human Resources that male, American-born employees were not held to the same standard.

  The amended complaint also alleges that plaintiff was discriminated against on the basis of her age, as evidenced by the fact that defendant replaced plaintiff with a younger, married woman.

  Finally, plaintiff alleges that she was discriminated against on the basis of her religion. The allegation in the complaint that appears to be germane to this charge relates to a conversation plaintiff had with a supervisor, Bill Louie, in which Louie allegedly acknowledged that Giordano and other managers wanted to fire plaintiff. The amended complaint states that Louie, who is Asian American, told plaintiff a story about growing up in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood where his Jewish neighbors "didn't want to accept him." The amended complaint states that Louie "hinted that Jews discriminate [against] `non Jews' and therefore it is `OK' to discriminate [against] Jews."

  On or about July 17, 1999 plaintiff filed complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights ("NYSDHR") and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). It appears that identical complaints were filed with the two agencies. Because defendant argues on the motion before the Court that the Page 5 instant complaint contains allegations that plaintiff did not contain in her administrative charges, the details of those charges will be set forth.

  The administrative complaint stated that plaintiff was an unmarried, Russian female, that in three years of employment at Deutsche Bank she had performed in a satisfactory manner, but that she was nonetheless terminated on March 23, 1999. The complaint alleged that during her tenure plaintiff was subjected to disparate treatment on account of her sex, in particular that she was paid a lower salary than her male counterparts and that her performance was monitored in a manner that was not done with male employees. The complaint further alleged that plaintiff was discriminated against because she was Russian, and that in particular Giordano made fun of her Russian accent and claimed that he could not understand her. Following her termination, the ...


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