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Levimcintyre v. Longwood Central Sch. Dist.

March 27, 2008

DR. LEVIMCINTYRE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LONGWOOD CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, DR. ALLAN GERSTENLAUR, MIDDLE ISLAND ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION, AND KATHLEEN BRENNAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph F. Bianco, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Pro se plaintiff Dr. Levi McIntyre ("McIntyre" or "plaintiff") brings this action against defendants Longwood Central School District ("LCSD"), Dr. Allan Gerstenlauer ("Gerstenlauer"), Middle Island Administrators Association ("MIAA") and Kathleen Brennan ("Brennan"), alleging violations of his rights under federal and New York State law. Specifically, McIntyre asserts the following claims against defendants MIAA and Brennan: (1) discrimination based on race and gender in violation of his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; (2) discrimination based on his age in violation of the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. (the "ADEA") (3) violations of his civil rights pursuant to, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, based upon unlawful discrimination; (4) breach of the duty of fair representation as provided under N.Y. Civil Service Law 209(a)(1); and (5) violation of Section 296(1)(a) of the New York State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"). Specifically, plaintiff, who is 59-year old Black male and has been the Principal at LCSD for fourteen years, contends that he has been denied the same equal base salary increases as other similarly situated administrators in the LCSD and MIAA because of his race, gender, and age.

Defendants MIAA and Brennan (collectively, "defendants") move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Facts

The facts are drawn from the complaint and taken as true for the purposes of this motion.

1. McIntyre's Hiring

McIntyre is a fifty-nine year old, Black male who resides in New York. (Compl. ¶ 3, 10.) He holds a B.S. with Distinction and an M.S from Indiana University, Bloomington, an ED.D. from the University of South Florida, and a Post Doctoral Certificate in Labor Management Studies from the Harriman School at Stony Brook University. (Id. ¶ 10.)

McIntyre began his employment with LCSD on April 1, 1993. (Id. ¶ 15.) LCSD is a public school district, kindergarten through twelfth grade, made up of approximately 9,745 students. (Id. ¶ 11.) The Longwood Junior High School, grades seven and eight, has approximately 1,500 students. (Id.) McIntyre was hired as the Principal for Longwood Junior High School, a position he maintained for the past fourteen (14) years. (Id. ¶ 10.)

When McIntyre was hired by LCSD as Principal of the Junior High School, he took a $2,000 salary cut from his previous position as assistant principal at Bellport High School. (Id. ¶ 15.) LCSD hired him below the midpoint of the existing salary range. (Id.) The LCSD sent a letter to the President of the MIAA stating that, although that action was outside normal hiring procedures, McIntyre was within the appropriate salary range with his colleagues. (Id.) However, McIntyre admits that LCSD has always hired administrators at the lower range of the salary schedule. (Id. ¶ 16.)

McIntyre is the most senior principal in the entire LCSD and the only principal with a doctorate degree. (Id. ¶ 22.) McIntyre alleges that his salary has grown to the current level through subsequent negotiations over the past fourteen (14) years. (Id. ¶ 15.) He further alleges that any disparity that exists between his salary and that of the current members of the unit is the result of: (1) the district hiring new and younger administrators at lower salaries than the administrators who were his peers when hired, a majority of whom have now retired, (2) the new, young administrators having no prior experience or less than he, and (3) the retiring of any comparable members of the unit. (Id. ¶ 15.)

2. MIAA & Brennan

Defendant MIAA is the collective bargaining unit for the thirty-four (34) members of the Administrators Association. (Id. ¶ 17.) The MIAA consists of 23 white females, 3 Black females, 6 white males, and 2 Black males. The titles of the members of the MIAA are directors, principals, and assistant principals. (Id. ¶ 17.) Defendant Brennan is the former Union President of MIAA until June 2006, when she retired from that position. McIntyre has been a due paying member of MIAA from the time he was hired in 1993. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 17.)

For a twelve year period, McIntyre was the only Black, male principal in LCSD. During the 2005-2006 school year, the district hired another Black male as an assistant principal at the Middle School. (Id. ¶ 18.)

Over the past 12 years, the LCSD negotiated several contracts with the MIAA. McIntyre alleges that in the past, the LCSD treated all MIAA unit members as a whole in awarding salary increases, benefits, and compensation. (Id. ¶ 20.) Unit members were given a specific percentage increase, which was applied equally to all members. (Id.)

In granting salary increases on a member-by-member basis, the LCSD recently abandoned the past practice of granting salary increases equally among all MIAA members.*fn2 (Id. ¶ 33.) The complaint alleges that the increase was either determined based on the base salary of the individual member or on the mid-point of the range for the titled position. (Id.) All members received the same percentage base salary increase. (Id.) The 2006-2011 contract departed from that practice. (Id.)

3. The CBA

On April 4, 2006, the LCSD signed a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") with the MIAA for the years 2006-2011. (Id. ¶ 23.) In the CBA, the LCSD gave 32 of the 34 members of MIAA a substantial base salary increase ranging from twenty-seven percent (27%) to thirty-seven percent (37%), while only granting McIntyre a seventeen and threetenths percent (17.3%) base salary increase over the life of the contract. (Id.) Plaintiff was the only Black male granted that increase. (Id. ¶ 25.) All female principals, except one, are younger than McIntyre and have been in their respective positions for a shorter period of time than he. (Id. ¶ 27.)

McIntyre alleges that defendant Brennan was the only other administrator that received a comparable increase in salary to his over the course of the contract. (Id. ¶ 13.) McIntyre further alleges that Brennan signed the negotiated contract on behalf of MIAA. (Id. ¶ 14.) He claims that this negotiation was done with mixed motives to mask the discriminatory animus, as Brennan submitted retirement documents six months within the effect of the contract. (Id. ¶ 28.) McIntyre is the only unit member who is negatively impacted over the life of the contract. (Id.) No other building principal who is similarly situated to McIntyre received such a low percentage base salary increase. (Id. ¶ 32.)

B. Procedural History

As a result of alleged differential treatment from LCSD, plaintiff filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC") in October of 2004. (Id. ¶ 18.) Although plaintiff received a "Right to Sue" letter, plaintiff did not pursue that right in federal court. (Id.)

Plaintiff filed another complaint with the EEOC on January 5, 2007. (Id. ¶ 7.) The EEOC issued plaintiff a "Right to Sue" letter on January, 22, 2007.*fn3 (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiff brought suit in forma pauperis in this Court on March 29, 2007. Defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) on May 18, 2007. The motion is fully submitted and the Court has carefully considered the submissions of the parties.*fn4

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations set forth in the complaint as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Cleveland v. Caplaw Enters., 448 F.3d 518, 521 (2d Cir. 2006); Nechis v. Oxford Health Plans, Inc., 421 F.3d 96, 100 (2d Cir. 2005). The plaintiff must satisfy "a flexible `plausibility standard.'" Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143, 157-58 (2d Cir. 2007). "Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (May 21, 2007). The Court, therefore, does not require "heightened fact pleading of specifics, but only enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face." Id. Moreover, as the plaintiff is appearing pro se, the Court shall ...


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