The opinion of the court was delivered by: GEORGE DANIELS, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Plaintiff brings this action against her former employer, Bear
Stearns & Co., Inc., ("Bear Stearns"), alleging violations of
Title VII, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and New
York State and City Law. Defendant moves for summary judgment
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. For the reasons stated below,
defendant's motion is granted and plaintiff's claim is dismissed.
Plaintiff Joy Lloyd, a black female, was employed by Bear
Stearns from 1989 through January 9, 1998. Plaintiff was
originally hired as a System Administrator in the firm's computer
department. In her complaint, plaintiff broadly alleges that soon
after she began to work for Bear Stearns, she noticed that
"[a]reas which were conducive to advancement were dominated by
Caucasians while Minorities were placed into low-level technical
areas." Complaint p. 3, ¶ 14. She also alleges, generally, that
"minorities, particularly African-Americans, were not given
adequate amount of work, were given menial assignments which did
not correspond with their levels of expertise and experience,
[and] were left out of projects despite seniority and adequate
experience levels." Id. at 3, ¶ 15. She further broadly asserts
that she "was routinely denied well-deserved promotions or
advancements in her area of expertise, was not given work
assignments commensurate with her skills, and suffered diminished
earning capacity as a result." Id. at 3, ¶ 16. Plaintiff's complaint is replete with unsupported allegations
of her discriminatory claims. First, she claims that she was
forced to work the night shift and that she was denied the right
to take a car service home. Next, she claims that the firm asked
her to work at another location that required her to walk further
than she was accustomed and was forced to do so late at night.
With regards to these allegations, her sole discriminatory claim
seems to be that the night shift group "consisted entirely of
minorities." Id. at 4, ¶ 19.
Next, plaintiff alleges that in 1990, despite her seniority,
Department Managers promoted two of her white co-workers to
higher-ranking positions in the computer department. She does not
allege that she was more qualified than the promoted co-workers
nor that she was denied the promotion solely because she was
black. Plaintiff claims that after she questioned her Department
Manager about this promotion decision, she was moved, in
retaliation, "from her prior desk location to a location in the
hallway near an area designated for `computer garbage.'" Id. at
4, ¶ 23.
Plaintiff next claims that in 1991, after accepting a new
position as a Documentation Librarian in the "IS Documentation
Group," she was discriminated against when her manager refused to
allow his employees to work overtime, only relenting when a black
employee resigned and was replaced with a white employee.
Plaintiff alleges that after the white employee was hired, they
were all allowed to work overtime. Plaintiff further claims,
without any factual support, that her white co-worker received
larger bonuses than she and her black co-worker.
Plaintiff's further alleges that contrary to Bear Stearns'
policy regarding new mothers that was applied to "Jewish moms,"
she was not permitted to work from home following the birth of
her child in 1995. Transcript of Deposition of Joy Lloyd ("Lloyd
Tr."), p. 67-68. Plaintiff further alleges that Bear Stearn's
practice of keeping a kosher pantry for the use of its observant Jewish employees constituted
racial discrimination, because "the White Jewish employees had
their own pantry on the eighth floor, which the Black employees
could not use." Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition, p. 6.
Plaintiff's next set of complaints centers on a promotion that
she did not receive. In May of 1996, the Manager in the "IS
Documentation Group" began looking for candidates for a
supervisory position within plaintiff's Librarian Unit. Plaintiff
approached her Manager and asked that the promotion be given to
her, but it was given instead to the Senior Project
Coordinator.*fn1 In June or July of 1996, plaintiff made an
appointment with the Human Resources Department to express her
concerns about not being given the Supervisor position, for which
she felt she was the most qualified candidate. Human Resources
set up a meeting with plaintiff, the newly promoted Supervisor,
plaintiff's co-workers, and plaintiff's Manager. Subsequent to
this meeting, plaintiff alleges that she was retaliated against
for her complaints. She claims that she "wasn't spoken to . . .
was just totally ignored," and that the amount of work given to
her was decreased. Lloyd Tr. p. 282. Plaintiff also alleges that
the new Supervisor made three racial comments or jokes at some
point after the meeting.*fn2 Complaint p. 6, ¶ 36. During
the same period, another employee told her that her former
Manager had commented about plaintiff: "Isn't she one of the ones
I shipped out of here?"*fn3 Lloyd Tr. p. 286.
A year later, in June of 1997, plaintiff met with the Chairman
of the Board to discuss her concerns about discrimination and
harassment in her department and to request a transfer to another department. Plaintiff claims that
once her Supervisor became aware of the meeting, he became upset
and said, "Anyone who f___ with me, I make sure I screw them
royally." Complaint p. 7, ¶ 39. Plaintiff claims that her
supervisor then retaliated against her further by giving her an
unjustified "below standard" evaluation.*fn4 Several weeks
later, plaintiff contacted the Human Resources Department and
told them that she wanted to transfer to another department
within Bear Stearns.
Plaintiff claims that on August 8, 1997, after a "demeaning and
distasteful" conversation with an employee of the Human Resources
Department, she "suffered an attack of high blood pressure and
had to be sent home." Id. at 8, ¶ 44. The following week,
plaintiff suffered a stroke and began a disability leave that
lasted until January 9, 1998, when she resigned. Plaintiff claims
that while she was in the hospital, her Supervisor placed a
"disrespectful" telephone call to plaintiff's mother, inquiring
as to her whereabouts. Sutherland Aff. p. 2, ¶ 5.
While on disability leave, plaintiff claims that she received a
call from a co-worker informing her that her desk at Bear Stearns
had been emptied of her personal belongings and her name had been
removed from the department telephone list. During subsequent
telephone conversations with an employee of the Human Resources
Department, plaintiff inquired whether she had been transferred
to another department. Plaintiff was informed that when she
returned, she would be working as a "floater" until a permanent
position in another department became available for her. As a
"floater," plaintiff would move between departments, working as
needed, usually performing clerical tasks. Plaintiff felt that this position was
unacceptable, and resigned by a letter dated January 9, 1998.
Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination against Bear Stearns
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on
October 9, 1998. She received a notice of right to sue in Federal
Court on February 8, 1999, and filed her complaint in the
District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 6,
1999. Plaintiff alleges that defendant subjected her to
discrimination based on her race, created a hostile work
environment, and retaliated against her for opposing these
practices in violation of (1) Title VII of Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000-e et seq; (2) New York State Human
Rights Law, Executive Law § 296.1(a) and § 296.7; and (3) New
York City Administrative Code §§ 8-107.1, 8-107.6, and 8-107.7.
Plaintiff also alleges that defendant's actions constituted
constructive discharge under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act
of 1866, 42 U.S.C. 1981.*fn5 After the completion of
discovery, defendant moved for summary judgment on all claims
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
I. Standard for Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is proper when "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). Under this
rule, the moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating
that the evidence fails to raise a genuine issue of material
fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
After such a showing, the non-moving party must respond with
"specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). "The non-moving
party may not rely on mere conclusory allegations nor
speculation, but instead must offer some hard evidence" to show
that there is a genuine issue for the trier of fact to resolve.
D'Amico v. City of New York, 132 F.3d 145, 149 (2d Cir. 1998).
While deciding the motion, the Court views the evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all
reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Schneider v.
Feinberg, 345 F.3d 135, 144 (2d Cir. 2003). The Court's role is
not to resolve disputed matters it may find in the record, but
merely to determine, as a threshold matter, if any exist. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986);
Gibson v. American Broad. Cos., 892 F.2d 1128, 1132 (2d Cir.
Title VII provides that "it shall be an unlawful employment
practice for an employer . . . to discriminate against any
individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions,
or privileges of employment, because of the individual's race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2
(a)(1). Title VII cases are governed by a burden-shifting
framework established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green,
411 U.S. 792, 802-04 (1973). See, e.g., Farias v. Instructional
Sys., Inc., 259 F.3d 91, 98 (2d Cir. 2001); see also Janneh
v. Endvest, Inc., 64 Fed. Appx. 814, 815 (2d Cir. 2003). Under
this framework, the plaintiff bears the initial burden of
establishing a prima facie case of discrimination. See
McDonnell Douglas Corp., 411 U.S. at 802-04. The defendant then
bears the burden of articulating a legitimate non-discriminatory
reason for the adverse employment action that the plaintiff
suffered. See id., 411 U.S. at 802-04. If the defendant meets
this burden, the burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to show
that the employer's proffered reason is mere pretext, and that
discrimination was the true motivation for the adverse employment
action. See id., 411 U.S. at 802-04. In the context ...