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Amir M. Galal El-Din v. New York City Administration For Children's Services

September 5, 2012

AMIR M. GALAL EL-DIN PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul A. Engelmayer, District Judge:

OPINION & ORDER

Plaintiff Amir M. Galal El-Din, an employee of the New York City Administration for Children's Services ("ACS"), brings claims of discrimination and retaliation against ACS under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. CITY ADMIN. CODE §§ 8--101 et seq.

("NYCHRL"). El-Din alleges that ACS unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of his race and religious affiliation, and retaliated against him for having engaged in a protected act. ACS moves to dismiss, in part, El-Din's Amended Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, the motion is denied.

I. Background*fn1

On or about November 28, 1988, El-Din began working for ACS as a caseworker. In or about August 1999, El-Din was promoted to Child Protective Specialist Supervisor ("CPS Supervisor").

In or about January 1996, El-Din informed ACS that he was a practicing Muslim, and requested permission to leave work early on Fridays to accommodate his religious observance. In or about February 1996, ACS granted El-Din's request.

El-Din alleges that "throughout his employment," individuals employed at ACS "consistently and continuously discriminated against" [him] solely due to his race (Arab) and religion (Islam)." Compl. ¶ 13. In or around March 1998, an ACS employee referred to El-Din as a "terrorist"; following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, "the harassment and discrimination escalated to new levels and . . . El-Din was constantly labeled a 'Muslim Terrorist'" by co-workers at ACS. Id. ¶ 21. El-Din identifies various incidents between July 1999 through October 2011, involving at least seven individuals employed by ACS, five of whom El-Din identifies as his supervisors.

On or about November 1, 2010, El-Din filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging unlawful employment discrimination.

On or about July 27, 2011, ACS demoted El-Din from CPS Supervisor II to CPS Supervisor I. This demotion caused El-Din's salary to be reduced from approximately $77,000 per year to approximately $56,000 per year.

On February 10, 2012, El-Din filed a Complaint, pro se, bringing claims for discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII. On July 13, 2012, after obtaining counsel, El-Din filed an Amended Complaint. On August 2, 2012, ACS moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint.

II. Legal Standard

To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), plaintiffs must plead sufficient factual allegations "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). More specifically, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to show "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully." Id. Where a plaintiff has not "nudged [his or her] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, [the] complaint must be dismissed." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

The Court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint, and "draw[ ] all inferences in the plaintiff's favor." Allaire Corp. v. Okumus, 433 F.3d 248, 249--50 (2d Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). However, to survive a motion to dismiss, "a complaint in an employment discrimination lawsuit [need] not contain specific facts establishing a prima facie case of discrimination under the framework set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973)." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569 (quoting Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 508 (2002)). Nevertheless, the elements of a prima facie case "provide an outline of what is necessary ...


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