The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurley, Senior District Judge
Plaintiff Dr. Martin Roginsky ("Plaintiff") commenced this action alleging employment discrimination based upon age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. and the New York State Executive Law ¶ 296, et seq. Presently before the Court is the motion of defendant County of Suffolk ("Suffolk") to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.
The following facts are taken from the complaint.
Plaintiff is a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of New York and was born November 1, 1928. (Compl. ¶¶ 19-20.) In 2003, Plaintiff was hired by the County on a part-time contractual basis as a Staff Physician at the Suffolk County jail (the "Jail"). (Id. ¶ 23.) In or about 2004, the County and defendant Peconic Bay Medical Center ("Peconic") entered into an agreement whereby Peconic would supply physicians to the Jail, with the approval of the County. Pursuant to this agreement, Plaintiff went on the payroll of Peconic, although he continued performing his services at the Jail. (Id. ¶¶ 24-25.) Plaintiff "eventually became a full-time employee at the Jail, having the title of Staff Physician." (Id. ¶ 26.) Plaintiff's performance was excellent. (Id. ¶ 29.)
During his employment, it was "common knowledge" and "accepted practice" that Plaintiff wrote prescriptions for staff of the Jail, including corrections officers, nurses, physician assistants and even the warden. (Compl. ¶ 30.) In April 2008, Plaintiff wrote a prescription for a nurses' aide. The next day, Plaintiff received a telephone call from a pharmacist indicating that the aide had apparently altered the prescription to provide for a refill. Plaintiff immediately reported the activity of the aide, although the complaint does not specify to whom. (Id. ¶ 31.) On May 15, 2008, Plaintiff was summoned to a meeting where Dr. Gerazi, Medical Director of the Jail, and William McManus, Peconic's Administrator, were present. McManus advised Plaintiff that he was asked by the County to terminate Plaintiff. No reason was given. McManus stated that Plaintiff had the option of resigning, but it had to be done that day. Not having any meaningful alternative Plaintiff resigned. (Id. ¶ 32.)
Several days later, the County issued a memo stating that, henceforth, prescriptions could only be issued for departing inmates. (Compl. ¶ 33.)
Plaintiff alleges that his "constructive discharge" occurred after Dr. Gerazi had made comments about Plaintiff's age such as that Plaintiff was getting "old" and that Plaintiff was not going to be around much longer. (Compl. ¶ 36.) According to Plaintiff, any attempt by defendants to use the prescription issue as justification for his discharge is nothing more than a pretext and that the "County compelled [Peconic] to take action against [P]laintiff because of his age." (Id. ¶ 35.)
I. Motion to Dismiss Standard
Rule 8(a) provides that a pleading shall contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The Supreme Court has recently clarified the pleading standard applicable in evaluating a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).
First, in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), the Court disavowed the well-known statement in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957) that "a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." 550 U.S. at 562. Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss under Twombly, a plaintiff must allege "only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570.
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative ...