Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dulce Colon v. Trump International Hotel & Tower and Laura Cunningham

December 7, 2011

DULCE COLON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL & TOWER AND LAURA CUNNINGHAM,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John G. Koeltl, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The plaintiff, Dulce Colon, filed this action against her former employer, the Trump International Hotel and Tower ("the Trump Hotel"), and her former supervisor, Laura Conahan ("Conahan") (collectively "the defendants").*fn1 The plaintiff alleges that the defendants discharged her from her position as an Assistant Housekeeping Manager at the Trump Hotel on the basis of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., New York Executive Law § 296 ("NYSHRL"), and the New York City Administrative Code § 8-107 ("NYCHRL"). The defendants now move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiff's claims.

I.

The standard for granting summary judgment is well established. "The [C]court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., Ltd. P'ship, 22 F.3d 1219, 1223 (2d Cir. 1994). "[T]he trial court's task at the summary judgment motion stage of the litigation is carefully limited to discerning whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be tried, not to deciding them." Gallo, 22 F.3d at 1224. The substantive law applicable to the claims will identify which issues are material and "[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); see also Jenkins v. N.Y. State Banking Dep't, No. 07 Civ. 6322, 2010 WL 2382417, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2010).

In determining whether summary judgment is appropriate, a court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences against the moving party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal citation omitted); Gallo, 22 F.3d at 1223. Summary judgment is inappropriate if there is any evidence in the record from any source from which a reasonable inference may be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. See Chambers v. TRM Copy Ctrs. Corp., 43 F.3d 29, 37 (2d Cir. 1994). The moving party has the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of a material issue of fact. If the moving party meets its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to bring forward "specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." Jenkins, 2010 WL 2382417, at *1. To meet its burden, the nonmoving party must produce evidence from the record and "may not simply rely on conclusory statements or on contentions that the affidavits supporting the motion are not credible . . . ." Ying Jing Gan v. City of N.Y., 996 F.2d 522, 532 (2d Cir. 1993); see also Scotto v. Almenas, 143 F.3d 105, 114-15 (2d Cir. 1998) (collecting cases); Jenkins, 2010 WL 2382417, at *1.

II.

The following facts are taken from the evidence submitted to the Court and are undisputed unless otherwise noted.

The plaintiff was born on January 26, 1959. (Decl. of Thomas Ricotta in Opp. to Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Ricotta Decl.") Ex. 3 ("Colon Dep. Tr.") at 6.) In or around May 2008, the plaintiff was interviewed for the position of Assistant Housekeeping Manager by Conahan, Director of Housekeeping at the Trump Hotel. (Defs.' Local Rule 56.1 Stmt. of Material Facts ("Defs.' 56.1 Stmt.") ¶ 4; Pl.'s Local Rule 56.1 Counterstmt. ("Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt.") ¶ 4.) The plaintiff was forty-nine years of age at the time of the interview. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 4; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 4.) The plaintiff claims that Conahan was unaware of the plaintiff's age at the time of the interview. (Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 4.) After the interview, Conahan recommended to the Human Resources Department and to Suzie Mills ("Mills"), the General Manager of the Trump Hotel, that the plaintiff be hired. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 5; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 5.)

The plaintiff began her employment with the Trump Hotel on May 12, 2008, as an Assistant Housekeeping Manager. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 6; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 6.) During the plaintiff's employment with the Trump Hotel, she was one of six full-time Assistant Housekeeping Managers. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 7; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 7.) The defendants claim that the other five managers' ages were: fifty, fifty, forty-three, forty-three, and thirty-five. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 7; Aff. of Deirdre Rosen in Supp. of Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Rosen Aff.") ¶ 4.) The plaintiff claims that she was the oldest Assistant Housekeeping Manager, but bases this claim on the hearsay statements of other Assistant Housekeeping Managers. (Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 7; Colon Dep. Tr. 39-43.)

On May 20, 2008, during the plaintiff's employment with the Trump Hotel, Loida Fernandez ("Fernandez"), twenty-six years of age, was hired as a Temporary Assistant Housekeeping Manager. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 8; Rosen Aff. ¶ 5.)

The primary employment responsibility of Assistant Housekeeping Managers is the inspection of guest rooms for occupancy, ensuring that each room meets the Trump Hotel's standards for quality and cleanliness. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 9; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 9; Colon Dep. Tr. 158-59.) Assistant Housekeeping Managers also ensure that rooms are ready at check-in time so that guests are not kept waiting. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 11; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 11; Colon Dep. Tr. 168.)

The plaintiff was taught and understood the Trump Hotel's standards for quality and cleanliness. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 13; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 13.) These standards include that dust, hair, and prior guests' personal effects may not be left in a room approved for occupancy. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 13; Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 13; Colon Dep. Tr. 175.) The plaintiff claims that, although she was taught and understood the standards, she was denied training opportunities in the housekeeping department that were provided to her younger co-workers, including Fernandez. (Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 13.) The defendants claim that the plaintiff attended the only orientation provided to new Assistant Housekeeping Managers. (Aff. of Diane Windholz in Supp. of Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Windholz Aff.") Ex. B ("Conahan Dep. Tr.") 24-27; Colon Dep. Tr. 181-84.)

The defendants claim that the plaintiff "exhibited a number of serious performance deficiencies" during her employment that led to her termination. (Defs.' 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 15.) While the plaintiff does not dispute that she made mistakes, she claims that the mistakes she made were no worse and no more frequent than the mistakes made by the other Assistant Housekeeping Managers. (Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 15.)

The defendants present the following incidents as evidence of serious performance deficiencies in the course of the plaintiff's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.