The opinion of the court was delivered by: STERLING JOHNSON, JR., District Judge
Jeffrey Kendall ("Kendall" or "Plaintiff") filed the present
action against William J. Fisse ("Fisse"), Laurie Ledford
("Ledford"), Gilbert Sutcliffe ("Sutcliffe"), Lawrence Phillips ("Phillips"), Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank"), Citigroup,
Inc., and Citicorp, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants") for (1)
employment discrimination pursuant to the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq; New York
State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), N.Y. McKinney's Exec. Law
§ 296; and New York City Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), New
York City Admin. Code § 8-107; (2) breach of employment contract;
and (3) improper termination to avoid providing employee benefits
as provided in § 510 of ERISA (29 U.S.C. § 1140). Before this
Court are Defendants' motions for (a) summary judgment pursuant
to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, (b)
attorney's fees and costs, and (c) sanctions against Plaintiff
pursuant to Rule 11(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
as well as Plaintiff's letter request (which this Court construes
as a motion) for sanctions against Defendants and/or their
counsel. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion for
summary judgment is GRANTED and their motion for attorney's fees,
costs, and sanctions is DENIED. Plaintiff's motion for sanctions
is also DENIED. BACKGROUND*fn1
In approximately June 1996, Plaintiff began his employment as a
"Lead Consultant" in the Human Resources Department of Citibank's
New York Consumer Bank ("NYCB").*fn2 In this position,
Plaintiff reported directly to William Fisse, then Director of
Human Resources for NYCB. Plaintiff alleges that in September
1996, he began having health problems. (Compl. ¶ 32.) Shortly
thereafter, Plaintiff contends, he discussed his health problems with Fisse. (Compl. ¶ 33.)
Plaintiff alleges that Fisse reacted in an unsupportive manner,
distancing himself from Plaintiff and "start[ing] a campaign of
both questioning [Plaintiff] about his personal affairs, his
marriage and his health." (Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Summ. J. Mot.
("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 8; Compl. ¶¶ 35-36.)
In April 1997, Plaintiff was transferred to the Long Island
Region of NYCB, where he worked in the position of
Generalist.*fn3 In August 1997, Fisse was formally
transferred out of NYCB and did not thereafter supervise Kendall.
Kerry Piercy served as Fisse's interim replacement until February
1998, when Laurie Ledford was appointed as Director of Human
Resources for NYCB. In approximately September 1998, NYCB's Long
Island and Queens business regions were consolidated and one
Generalist position (Plaintiff's) was eliminated. In November
1998, Plaintiff received a notice of job discontinuance and was
Plaintiff remained in his position during a "notice period"
through February 5, 1999. After that date, he was placed on
salary continuation and received his full salary and medical
insurance coverage for six months (through August 6, 1999).
Plaintiff never applied for disability benefits, even though he
was eligible to do so through February 5, 1999.
On August 18, 1999, Plaintiff applied for Social Security
Disability Insurance ("SSDI"), stating in his application that he
"became unable to work because of [his] disabling condition on November 15, 1998." (Decl. of Joseph
Baumgarten ("Baumgarten Decl.") Ex. 15.) Plaintiff also stated
that he "worked from 1984 through November, 1998 when [he] was
laid-off rather than be placed on disability leave." (Id.) After
evaluating his disability claim, the Social Security
Administration (SSA) determined that Plaintiff had become
disabled under SSA rules on November 15, 1998 and was eligible
for SSDI benefits beginning May 1999. (Baumgarten Decl. Ex. 16.)
SSA thereafter began to pay Plaintiff disability benefits.
I. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is proper "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 a
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The court's
function is not to resolve disputed issues of fact, but only to
determine whether there is a genuine issue to be tried. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986);
Eastman Mach. Co. v. United States, 841 F.2d 469, 473 (2d Cir.
1988). It is well-established that "summary judgment may be
appropriate even in the fact-intensive context of discrimination
cases." Abdu-Brisson v. Delta Air Lines, 239 F.3d 456, 466 (2d
Cir.), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 993 (2001); Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133 (2000). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of showing
that no genuine factual dispute exists. See Cronin v. Aetna
Life Ins. Co., 46 F.3d 196, 202 (2d Cir. 1995). Once the movant
has made a showing that there are no genuine issues of material
fact to be tried, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to
raise triable issues of fact. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
Mere conclusory allegations will not suffice. Instead, the
nonmoving party must present "significant probative supporting
evidence" that a factual dispute exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e);
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.
A genuine issue for trial exists if, based on the record as a
whole, a reasonable jury could find in favor of the nonmoving
party. Id. at 249. In conducting its analysis, the court must
draw all reasonable inferences and resolve all ambiguities in the
nonmoving party's favor, and construe the facts in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
254-255; Sutera v. Schering Corp., 73 F.3d 13, 16 (2d Cir.
1995). However, the court should grant summary judgment where the
nonmoving party's evidence is merely colorable, conclusory,
speculative, or not significantly probative. See Parker v.
Chrysler Corp., 929 F. Supp. 162, 165 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
II. Plaintiff's ADA Claims
A Plaintiff seeking to bring an action under the ADA in New
York State must file a charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") within 300 days of the alleged
discriminatory act. 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a), incorporating 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1) (2004). See also Butts v. City of N.Y. Dep't
of Hous. Pres. and Dev., 990 F.2d 1397, 1401 (2d Cir. 1993). The
statute of limitations begins to run when the employee receives
notice of an allegedly discriminatory decision not when the
employee is actually impacted by it. Del. State Coll. v. Ricks,
449 U.S. 250 (1980); Miller v. ITT Corp., 755 F.2d 20, 24 (2d
In the present case, it is undisputed that Plaintiff received a
job discontinuance notice sometime in November 1998, and that
Plaintiff believed that he would not be offered another job at
Citibank. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. 4 at 47-48, 71-72, 709-10.)
Plaintiff's EEOC charge was not filed until November 5, 1999,
well beyond the 300 day statute of limitations. (See ...