The opinion of the court was delivered by: GABRIEL GORENSTEIN, Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Plaintiff Donald Webster Langhorne filed this complaint against
his former employer, the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey ("Port Authority"), and Robert Half International, Inc.
("RHI"). The complaint purports to raise claims against RHI under
42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(1) and N.Y.C. Admin.
Code § 8-107, prima facie tort, and tortious interference of
contract. RHI has moved to dismiss the complaint for, inter
alia, failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
For the reasons stated below, RHI's motion to dismiss should be
The following facts are alleged by Langhorne in his Amended
Complaint and are accepted as true for the purposes of the
current motion. See Amended Complaint and Jury Trial Demand,
dated May 21, 2004 ("Am. Compl.") (Docket #10). Donald Langhorne worked as an employee of the Port Authority
from May 1999 until January 31, 2003, when he was terminated.
See Am. Compl. ¶ 4. The Port Authority is a bi-state entity
created by compact between the States of New York and New Jersey.
See id. ¶ 6. Between May 1999 and October 2001, Langhorne
held several different positions within the Port Authority,
including Summer Law Intern, Senior Paralegal Specialist, and
permanent Law Intern. See id. ¶¶ 12-13. Following the
destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,
Langhorne was transferred, along with three other employees, to a
newly-created subdivision of the Administrative and Technical
Services Division later named the Litigation Management Unit
("LMU") for the purpose of retrieving and reconstructing legal
case files destroyed on September 11th. See id. ¶¶ 15-16.
For the next several months, the LMU operated with no formal
policy, and sometimes without regular access to computers and
phones. See id. ¶¶ 16-18. On January 23, 2002, Langhorne
learned from a time and labor summary sheet that his income had
been deducted for being "AWOL" on January 10 and 11, 2002. He
disputes this characterization, claiming that he had left on
those days only because his workstation was temporarily
inaccessible. See id. ¶¶ 18-19. On January 28, Langhorne was
called in to a meeting and reprimanded for these disputed
absences. Id. ¶ 19. On February 7, Langhorne's manager,
Josephine Gajewski, memorialized the January 28 meeting,
threatened Langhorne with disciplinary action for his disputed
absences and other alleged infractions, and asked him to sign a
"confidential memorandum." Id. ¶ 20. Langhorne refused to sign
and was told he could respond to the disputed claims in writing,
seek counsel from the Employment and Labor Law Division of the
Law Department, or contact Human Resources. Id. ¶ 21. Upon
contacting Human Resources, he was told his case was a "conflict of interest" and that he would need to secure outside
counsel an instruction he believed violated his rights as a
Port Authority employee. See id. ¶ 22. Langhorne consulted an
attorney, but did not have sufficient documentation and was
unable to afford counsel's hourly rates. Id. ¶ 23.
In February 2002, the LMU was reorganized, and the Port
Authority brought in two temporary employees of an "independent"
employment agency to act as a manager and supervisor. See id.
¶ 24. The independent employment agency was defendant RHI, and
the supervisor was Jonathan Stark, an employee of a subsidiary of
RHI called The Affiliates. See id. ¶¶ 9, 24. RHI is a
personnel services, recruiting, and placement firm. Id. ¶ 9.
Langhorne asked why he had not been given the chance to apply
for the supervisory position and was told he was not qualified,
even though he had more formal and legal education and work
experience than Stark. Id. ¶ 24. Stark is a white male;
Langhorne is an African-American male. Id. ¶¶ 4, 24.
Stark immediately began compiling a "secret log" against
Langhorne. Id. ¶ 25. On March 5, 2002, Stark ordered Langhorne
to sign a memorandum relating to Langhorne's new job duties. When
Langhorne asked whether other employees were required to do this,
Stark told him that if he did not sign he would be accused of
insubordination. Id. ¶ 26. On April 19, 2002, Langhorne was
called to Gajewski's office, where he was served with a draft of
a charge against him and a recommendation for his termination. He
was told to review the draft and report to a meeting one week
later. He subsequently learned from the Labor Relations Division
that a disciplinary proceeding against him was being initiated,
but he had not previously received any information about this.
See id. ¶ 27. At the follow-up meeting on April 30, 2002, Langhorne met with
Gajewski and Stark, who told him that he could accept five days'
suspension without pay and ten days "in abeyance" as an
alternative to the termination proceeding. His only other option,
he was told, was to resign. See id. ¶ 28. He was also told
that the offer was good until May 3, but when he appeared on that
day, he learned that the offer had been revoked on May 1, without
his knowledge, because he had failed to move his computer monitor
as requested by Stark. No other employees were similarly ordered
to move their monitors. Id. ¶¶ 28-30. Langhorne was told to
contact Labor Relations to present a counteroffer. Id. ¶ 30.
On May 9, 2002, Langhorne received an e-mail from Gajewski
demanding his resignation by the following day, and stating that
he would otherwise be suspended without pay pending a hearing to
terminate him. Id. ¶ 31. He refused to resign, and the Port
Authority filed a formal charge against him. Id. On May 28,
2002, Langhorne received a job evaluation that he disputed and
refused to acknowledge. Id. ¶ 32. On July 9, 2002, Langhorne
was served with the charge and nine specifications. Jeffrey
Green, General Counsel of the Port Authority, was the
complainant, the reviewer of the complaint, and the reviewer of
the selection of the Impartial Hearing Officer for the
disciplinary proceeding. Id. ¶ 33. Langhorne states that this
was a conflict of interest and against the terms of his
Langhorne's first hearing was on July 30, 2002, at which time a
tenth specification was added: the falsification of time sheets
specifically, the deletion of alterations made by Stark.
Langhorne appeared at the hearing pro se. Id. ¶ 34.
Langhorne also appeared pro se at his second hearing, on
August 12, 2002. Id. ¶ 35. After the second hearing, Langhorne
contacted the Port Authority's Office of Equal Opportunity Employment to
complain of discrimination, but that office did not inquire
On October 31, 2002, the Impartial Hearing Officer recommended
Langhorne's termination, and Langhorne was suspended with pay
pending the outcome of the disciplinary process. Id. ¶ 37. On
November 19, 2002, Langhorne filed a charge of discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), which
forwarded the charge to the New York State Division of Human
Rights. Id. ¶¶ 38-39.
On January 31, 2003, the Port Authority approved the
recommendation of Langhorne's termination an action that did
not conform to the Port ...