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Tahisha Dawson v. Pelican Management

October 28, 2011

TAHISHA DAWSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PELICAN MANAGEMENT, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bloom, United States Magistrate Judge:

ORDER

Plaintiff moves to amend the complaint in this employment discrimination action. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motion to amend is granted in part and denied in part.*fn1

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se at the time, commenced this action against her former employer, defendant Pelican Management, Inc. ("Pelican"), on April 8, 2011. (Docket entry 1.) Plaintiff's complaint alleges that two of her supervisors, Sergeant Hector and Lieutenant Pervis, subjected her to a hostile work environment based on her gender and that defendant Pelican retaliated against her for complaining about the harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"). Plaintiff's complaint further alleges that she was denied a reasonable accommodation for her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. ("ADA") when defendant Pelican terminated her employment while she was on leave. Defendant Pelican answered the complaint on May 9, 2011. (Docket entry 5.)

By Order dated July 12, 2011, the Court set August 12, 2011 as the deadline for plaintiff to amend the complaint or join additional parties, and set October 14, 2011 as the deadline for the parties to complete discovery. (Docket entry 13.) Counsel appeared on plaintiff's behalf on September 20, 2011, and filed the instant motion to amend on October 3, 2011. (Docket entries 15, 16, 17.) Plaintiff attaches a proposed amended complaint to the instant motion. (Docket entry 18-1, Prop. Am. Compl.) Specifically, plaintiff seeks to join Sergeant Hector and Lieutenant Pervis as defendants to this action and seeks to add claims under the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") against Pelican, Hector, and Pervis for gender discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation.

Defendant Pelican opposes plaintiff's motion to amend on the grounds that plaintiff's proposed amendments would be futile and that plaintiff fails to show good cause for modifying the Court's deadline to amend the complaint under Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Docket entry 20, Def.'s Mem. of Law in Opp. to Pl.'s Mot. to Amend the Compl., ("Def.'s Opp."). Plaintiff has replied to defendant's opposition. (Docket entry 21, Mem. of Law in Reply to Def.'s Opp. and in Further Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. for Leave to File an Am. Compl. ("Pl.'s Reply").)

DISCUSSION

I.Legal Standards

A.Rule 16(b)(4) Standard for Modification of a Scheduling Order

"Where, as here, a scheduling order governs amendments to the complaint, the lenient standard under Rule 15(a), which provides leave to amend 'shall be freely given,' must be balanced against the requirement under Rule 16(b) that the Court's scheduling order 'shall not be modified except upon a showing of good cause.'" Holmes v. Grubman, 568 F.3d 329, 334-35 (2d Cir. 2009) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b) ("A schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent."). "Whether good cause exists turns on the diligence of the moving party." Holmes, 568 F.3d at 335 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

B.Rule 15(a) Standard for Leave to Amend

Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure instructs that leave to amend should be "freely give[n] . . . when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). The Court may deny a motion to amend for reasons such as "undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc." Ruotolo v. City of New York, 514 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178 (1962)).

"An amendment to a pleading will be futile if a proposed claim could not withstand a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)." Dougherty v. Town of N. Hempstead Bd. of Zoning Appeals, 282 F.3d 83, 88 (2d Cir. 2002). On a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court accepts all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 152 (2d Cir. 2002). However, "the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1950. In deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court may consider, in addition to the complaint, documents that plaintiff attached to the ...


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