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Vladimir Zuk, A/K/A Walter Zuk v. Onondaga County; and Kevin E. Walsh

September 14, 2011

VLADIMIR ZUK, A/K/A WALTER ZUK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ONONDAGA COUNTY; AND KEVIN E. WALSH, SHERIFF, ONONDAGA COUNTY, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM -DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this pro se civil rights action, filed by Vladimir Zuk ("Plaintiff") against Onondaga County and Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin E. Walsh in his official capacity ("Defendants"), is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 17) For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is granted, and Plaintiff's Compliant is dismissed with prejudice.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND...............................................................................................3

A. Plaintiff's Claims.........................................................................................................3

B. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment..........................................................4

II. LEGAL STANDARD GOVERNING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT..........6

III. UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS..................................................................................9

A. Overview of OCSO Policies and Procedures..........................................................10

1. Promotions of OCSO Employees................................................................10

2. Policies Regarding Age Discrimination......................................................12

B. Plaintiff's Employment at OCSO............................................................................12

C. Plaintiff's Lack of Promotion..................................................................................12

D. Plaintiff's Grievances................................................................................................14

IV. ANALYSIS.............................................................................................................................14

A. Plaintiff's Age Discrimination Claims Against Defendant Walsh........................18

B. Plaintiff's Age Discrimination Claims Against Onondaga County......................18

1. Plaintiff's Age Discrimination Claim Under the ADEA...........................18

2. Plaintiff's Age Discrimination Claim Under N.Y. Exec. Law § 290........22

C. Plaintiff's Claim Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983...............................................................22

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Claims

Generally, construed with the utmost of special leniency, Plaintiff alleges in his Complaint that, while he was working as a deputy in the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office ("OCSO") Custody Department in 2008, Defendants discriminated against him on the basis of his age under 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634(b), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and N.Y. Exec. Law § 290, by denying him promotions to the position of "Deputy Sheriff Sergeant-Custody" on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008 (instead promoting other individuals on those dates). (Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiff further alleges that, during all times relevant to his claims, he was a member of a protected class as prescribed by 29 U.S.C. § 631(a) because he "was over 45 years of age." (Id.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he "is older than every newly appointed Sergeant-Custody[, and is] . . . as well, if not more qualified than the candidates that were selected." (Id.)

Based on these (and other) factual allegations, Plaintiff's Complaint asserts the following five causes of action against Defendants: (1) a claim that Defendant Walsh violated his rights under the Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA") based on Defendant Walsh's refusal to promote him on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008; (2) a claim that Defendant Walsh violated his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on Defendant Walsh's refusal to promote him on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008; (3) a claim that Defendant Walsh violated his rights under N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 based on Defendant Walsh's refusal to promote him on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008; (4) a claim that Defendant Onondaga County violated his rights under the ADEA based on the refusal to promote him on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008; and (5) a claim that Defendant Onondaga County violated his rights under N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 based on the refusal to promote him on June 2, 2008, and August 23, 2008. (Id.) Familiarity with the particular factual allegations supporting these claims is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties.

Before proceeding to an analysis of Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the Court finds it worth noting that Plaintiff previously filed a pro se civil rights action against, inter alia, Onondaga County and Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin E. Walsh in his official capacity, arising from, inter alia, the repeated denial of his promotion to the position of Deputy Sheriff Sergeant between 2003 and 2007, which action was dismissed with prejudice by the ...


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