The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge
Defendants Cablevision Systems Corporation ("Cablevision"),
Madison Square Garden ("MSG"), a limited partnership, Jason Vogel
("Vogel") and Ryan Halkatt ("Halkatt") (collectively, the
"Defendants") have moved pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R. Civ.
P., to dismiss in part the Complaint of Courtney Prince
("Prince") alleging employment discrimination in violation of
federal, state, and municipal statute, and common law tort. For
the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part.
Prince filed her Complaint on October 18, 2004. The First Cause
of Action asserts claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et
seq. ("Title VII") against MSG for sexual harassment, wrongful
discharge, and retaliation. The Second and Third Causes of Action
assert state*fn1 and municipal law*fn2 claims against
all defendants for sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and
retaliation. The Fourth Cause of Action asserts state law assault
and battery claims against Vogel. The Fifth and Sixth Causes of
Action assert aiding and abetting claims against Halkatt pursuant to the NYSHRL and
the NYCHRL. On November 30, 2004, the Defendants answered the
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Defendants moved on
November 30, 2004 to dismiss in part the First, Second, and Third
Causes of Action on the grounds that the allegations are
insufficient to support claims of hostile work environment and to
impute liability to MSG. The Defendants also sought dismissal of
the state and municipal law claims against the individual
defendants on the following alternative grounds: (1) that the
state and municipal claims are insufficient as a matter of law to
support individual liability, and (2) that supplemental
jurisdiction should not be exercised over the claims.
The Defendants have not moved to dismiss those portions of the
First, Second and Third Causes of Action that allege that MSG
retaliated against Prince in violation of federal, state, and
The motion was heard and marked fully submitted on January 19,
The Parties Prince is a professional figure skater who was employed as a
member and captain of the Ranger City Skaters (the "Skaters").
The Skaters are ice skating cheerleaders of the New York Rangers
(the "Rangers"), a professional hockey team. (See Compl. ¶ 1).
MSG is a limited partnership and the former employer of Prince.
(See id. ¶¶ 18, 21).
Vogel is an employee of MSG and deputy director of public
relations for the Rangers. (See id. ¶ 23.)
Halkatt, who was Prince's immediate supervisor, is employed by
MSG as the director of game-day presentation for the Rangers.
(See id. ¶ 22.)
The following facts are drawn from the allegations contained in
the Complaint. All well-pleaded allegations are accepted as true
for the purposes of this motion. See Chambers v. Time Warner,
Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 152 (2d Cir. 2002). The following statements
do not constitute findings of the Court.
Prince was hired by MSG in the fall of 2001 to be a member of
the Skaters, which was formed in 2002. (See Compl. ¶ 21.) She
was made captain of the team in August, 2003. (See id. ¶ 25.) In this capacity, Prince's duties included communicating
to the Skaters the directives of management. (See id.)
MSG featured the Skaters on the Rangers website and as part of
the team's public relations program. (See id. ¶ 39.) Among
their duties, Prince and other Skaters were required to appear at
certain post-game events, a duty for which they received no
additional compensation. (See id. ¶ 28.)
It was MSG's official policy that the Skaters appear sexually
alluring. (See id. ¶ 48.) MSG apparently encouraged the
Skaters to stuff their bras to enhance their breast size and to
follow strict diet regimens that included use of diet pills in
some instances. (See id. ¶¶ 47, 49, 50.) Although MSG told
the Skaters not to fraternize with Rangers team members, the
Skaters were required or expected to fraternize with MSG
management at post-game events. (See id. ¶¶ 28, 35, 51.) MSG
management, including Halkatt, took steps to ensure that certain
Skaters who were "fancied" by MSG managers attended these events,
and he directed Prince to facilitate this directive. (See id.
¶ 35.) Underage Skaters have attended these events, at which
alcohol was served. (See id. ¶ 36.) In some instances, MSG
management personnel engaged in sex talk with the Skaters. (See
id. ¶ 51.)
Prince, other Skaters, and members of MSG management were in
attendance at one of these post-game events on December 22, 2003, at a bar called Lobby. (See id. ¶ 28). Prince and other
Skaters agreed to leave Lobby and go to a bar called Daddy-O's.
(See id. ¶ 24.) Vogel and another male accompanied Prince to
Daddy-O's. (See id. ¶ 30.)
At Daddy-O's, Vogel attempted to kiss Prince, told her that he
wanted to have sex with her and other Skaters, and solicited her
to go into the public bathroom to have sex with him. (See id.
¶ 31.) Prince rejected these advances. (See id.) When Prince
realized no other Skaters were arriving at Daddy-O's, she left.
(See id. ¶ 32.)
Following these events, Prince advised her teammates what had
happened with Vogel and warned them to stay away from him. (See
id. ¶ 33.) One teammate said that an MSG manager had previously
warned her about Vogel. (See id. ¶ 34.) Not long afterward,
MSG learned that Prince had made allegations about a member of
MSG management. (See id. ¶ 37.) On January 22, 2004, MSG
alleged that Prince: (1) had disparaged MSG management and (2)
had falsely accused a member of management of being a "sexual
predator." (See id.) Thereafter, MSG and Halkatt did not call
Prince for work, and they deleted references to her from the
Rangers website. (See id. ¶¶ 38, 39.)
Prince filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC") claiming sexual harassment and retaliation, and the EEOC issued a finding of Probable Cause ...