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BROWN v. LAWRENCE STEVENS FASHIONS

United States District Court, S.D. New York


March 30, 2004.

MARICELLA BROWN, Plaintiff -against- LAWRENCE STEVENS FASHIONS, INC. LAWRENCE BAUM, and I.J. SINGH, Defendants

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

Opinion

This is an action by pro se plaintiff Maricella Brown alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race and age, and retaliation for asserting rights, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Defendant Lawrence Stevens Fashions, Inc. was plaintiff's employer. Defendant Lawrence Baum was employed by Lawrence Stevens as Chief Executive Officer. Defendant I. J. Singh was employed by Lawrence Stevens as Executive Vice President for Production.

Defendants Baum and Singh move to dismiss the complaint as to them, on the ground that individual defendants, connected with an employer company, may not be held liable under Title VII or the ADEA.

  It is clear in this Circuit that Title VII does not Page 2 authorize suit against individual defendants. See Tomka v. Seiler Corp., 66 F.3d 1295, 1314-16 (2d Cir. 1995); Harrison v. New York Off-Track Betting Corp., 107 F. Supp.2d 455, 458 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); Luongo v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., 95 Civ. 3190, 1995 WL 445365, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 7, 1996). Although the Second Circuit has not yet ruled definitively on the issue of individual liability under the ADEA, the consensus among District Courts in this Circuit is that, given the similarity in the statutory definitions of "employer," the result is the same as under Title VII. See, e.g., Grasso v. Chase Manhattan Bank, No. 01 Civ. 4371, 2002 WL 575667, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 17, 2002); Bousie v. Boufford, 127 F. Supp.2d 467, 472 (S.D.N.Y. 2001); Healy v. AIG Technical Services, Inc., No. 00 Civ. 3419, 2001 WL 336976, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2001). Therefore, plaintiff may not bring claims under Title VII or the ADEA against Baum and Singh.

  Plaintiff requests leave to file an amended complaint, in order to add causes of action under the New York City Human Rights Law against Baum and Singh. The New York City Human Rights Law allows a plaintiff to file suit against an employer or agent of that employer

  in any court of competent jurisdiction . . . unless such person has filed a complaint with the city commission on human rights or with the state division of human rights with respect to such alleged unlawful discriminatory practice or act of discriminatory harassment or violence. Page 3

 N.Y.C. Admin. Code §§ 8-107 and 502(a). It appears from the submissions on the motion that in or about May 2001 plaintiff filed with the State Division of Human Rights two administrative complaints regarding the incidents of discrimination alleged in the instant complaint. Thus, plaintiff elected her remedies under the New York City Human Rights Law, and may not now bring suit in this Court under the same statute. See James v. City of New York, No. 01 Civ. 30, 2003 WL 21991591, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2003); McNulty v. New York City Department of Finance, 45 F. Supp.2d 296, 303-04 (S.D.N.Y. 1999); see also York v. Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 286 F.3d 122, 127-128 (2d Cir. 2002).

  CONCLUSION

  Defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims against Baum and Singh is granted. Plaintiff's request to file an amended complaint is denied.

  SO ORDERED.

20040330

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