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Hudson v. Greyhound Lines

September 8, 2007

JOHN E. HUDSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GREYHOUND LINES, INC. AND GLI HOLDING COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

In this action, Plaintiff John E. Hudson alleges that his employer, Defendants Greyhound Lines, Inc., and GLI Holding Company, retaliated and discriminated against him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), § 290 of the New York Human Rights Law ("NY HRL"), and the Civil Rights Act of 1870, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 ("§ 1981").

Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on Plaintiff's retaliation claims brought pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn1 For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

On February 16, 2006, this Court filed a decision resolving Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. (Docket No. 17). Therein, this Court determined that Plaintiff's only timely retaliation claims are those related to his allegations that Defendants refused to allow him to return to work and then terminated his employment. (Docket No. 17). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on May 22, 2006. (Docket No. 20). Defendants again seek dismissal of Plaintiff's retaliation claims.

The Rule 12(b) dismissal standard applies to motions brought under Rule 12(c). Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001). This Court therefore assumes the truth of the following factual allegations contained in the Amended Complaint. See Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740, 96 S.Ct. 1848, 1850, 48 L.Ed. 2d 338 (1976); see also Hamilton Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, Inc. v. Hamilton Coll., 128 F.3d 59, 63 (2d Cir. 1997).

Plaintiff is an African-American male who resides in the City of Buffalo. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 3). He began working for Defendant Greyhound Lines, Inc. ("Greyhound") as a bus driver on or about June 20, 1975. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 13). In the early 1980's, Greyhound created Defendant GLI Holding Company ("GLI") as a subsidiary corporation. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 14).

It appears that Plaintiff was off for an unspecified period of time for medical reasons, but then was cleared to return to work effective November 13, 2001. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 16). To prepare for his return to work, Plaintiff met with John Comstock, who was Greyhound's Buffalo Terminal Manager. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 17). Plaintiff provided Mr. Comstock with his medical-clearance papers, at which time Mr. Comstock advised Plaintiff that he would schedule the necessary appointments for him to be able to return to work (e.g., physical, drug screening, safety refresher course). (Id.)

Between November 13, 2001, and March of 2002, Mr. Comstock never contacted Plaintiff. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 18). Meanwhile, Plaintiff went to the Greyhound's Buffalo office at least three times per month during this time period to see what bus routes he could hold with his seniority. (Id.) In February of 2002, Plaintiff contacted Defendants' New York City office to complain that he was not being scheduled to return to work. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 20).

During the first week in March of 2002, Plaintiff again called Defendants' human resources office to check his employment status. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 21). He was advised that he had been terminated. (Id.) Plaintiff then went to Greyhound's Buffalo office to review his personnel file with Mr. Comstock. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 22). Plaintiff discovered that he had been written up for insubordination in 1998. (Id.) When Plaintiff inquired as to how he could have been written up for insubordination when he was out on work-related disability at the time, Mr. Comstock refused to allow him to review his file further. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that other similarly-situated Caucasian drivers - those who were on medical leave and brought medical-clearance papers back to Defendants - were scheduled for physicals in compliance with Defendants' policies. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 24). But Defendants failed to schedule Plaintiff's physical and subsequently terminated him. (Amended Complaint, ¶ 25). According to Plaintiff, these actions were the result of continued discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against him based on his race and prior complaints of discrimination and harassment. (Id.)

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal ...


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