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Jemmott v. Metropolitan Transit Authority

United States District Court, E.D. New York

May 21, 2014



MARGO K. BRODIE, District Judge.

On May 1, 2013, Plaintiff Dennis Jemmott commenced the above-captioned action against Defendants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit Authority alleging discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the American with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the New York State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 et seq. Defendants requested a pre-motion conference in anticipation of moving to dismiss on the basis of duplicative litigation, timeliness and insufficient service. (Docket Entry No. 7.) At the pre-motion conference held on March 10, 2014, the Court sua sponte dismissed the Complaint as duplicative and untimely. (Minute Entry Dated Mar. 10, 2014.) The Court explains its decision below.

I. Background

a. Plaintiff's allegations in the Complaint at issue

Plaintiff, an African-American male, began working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's New York City Transit Authority in 1979 in the area of subway car maintenance, repair and inspection.[1] (Compl. ¶ 8.) In 2000, Plaintiff was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor and was assigned to the Coney Island yards. ( Id. ¶ 10.) The majority of the employees under Plaintiff's supervision were Caucasian and of Russian heritage. ( Id. ) Plaintiff was subjected to ongoing racial taunts and insubordination by said employees. ( Id. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff made numerous complaints to his supervisors but there was never any action taken or investigation performed. ( Id. )

In November 2010, Plaintiff instructed a subordinate car inspector of Russian nationality to fill up oil containers. ( Id. ¶ 14.) The employee responded with a racial epithet and called Plaintiff "stupid." ( Id. ) On December 6, 2010, the same employee responded to Plaintiff with a "contemptuous remark." ( Id. ) The same occurred on December 9, 2010 and December 13, 2010. ( Id. ) After numerous requests by Plaintiff to his supervisors to reprimand the employees, Plaintiff was removed from his job assignment and ordered to select another work assignment away from the Coney Island repair facility. ( Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff's request to be reinstated to his previous assignment was denied and he was threatened with a transfer to the Bronx. ( Id. )

Plaintiff also alleges instances of discrimination based on disability. Plaintiff is disabled with binaural hearing loss in excess of forty percent. ( Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff once requested a transfer to a work location with lower noise exposure but was not accommodated. ( Id. ) In addition, his disability was the subject of ridicule by the employees he supervised. ( Id. ) Plaintiff was "forced" to accept retirement on November 18, 2011. ( Id. ¶ 16.)

Plaintiff brought charges against Defendants before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"); the EEOC subsequently mailed a right to sue letter to Plaintiff on or about January 17, 2013. ( Id. ¶ 5.)

b. Plaintiff's other action

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed an action in this district on April 15, 2013. See Complaint, Jemmott v. New York City Transit Authority, No. 13-CV-2272 (E.D.N.Y. 2013) [hereinafter Jemmott I ]. In Jemmott I, Plaintiff's Complaint contains more allegations, an unsworn statement of facts, decisions by the New York State Division of Human Rights and medical records attesting to Plaintiff's disability. ( Id. )

Plaintiff alleged violations of Title VII, the ADA and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1976, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. ( Id. at 1.) He alleged that from June 2002 to November 18, 2011, he suffered discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin and disability. ( Id. at 3.) According to Plaintiff, from March 2000 he was subjected to verbal abuse, threats and intimidation by his managers and "Russian white supremacist employees" of the New York City Transit Authority. ( Id. at 32.) Plaintiff's managers made Plaintiff's working environment "very hostile and dangerous" by failing to stop the "racial reverse under ground tunnel activities" of the Russian white supremacist hourly workers. ( Id. at 33.)

Among many incidents, Plaintiff identifies his threatened transfer to the Bronx, ( id. at 41), and a subordinate's refusal to follow Plaintiff's orders while calling Plaintiff "dumb" and "stupid, " ( id. at 13), as evidence of discrimination in violation of federal law. According to Plaintiff, he was "forced" to retire on November 18, 2011, in retaliation for "telling these racists that they must work for the public's money." ( Id. at 44 (emphasis omitted).)

II. Discussion

a. Plaintiff's action is ...

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