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Gomez v. North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System

United States District Court, E.D. New York

September 3, 2014

ARMANDO GOMEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
NORTH SHORE LONG ISLAND JEWISH HEALTH SYSTEM, LISA CANDELARIO, and JOSE RIVERA, (sued in their official and individual Capacity pursuant to New York Executive Law §§ 290 et seq.), Defendants. LISA CANDELARIO, MARIA BARRIOS, and MARYANN LANG, Plaintiffs,
v.
NORTH SHORE-LONG ISLAND JEWISH HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant.

ORDER

SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, District Judge.

On April 23, 2013, Armando Gomez ("Gomez") filed a civil rights complaint in this Court pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), and New York Executive Law §§ 290 et seq. ("NYEL"), against North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System ("North Shore LIJ"), [1] Lisa Candelario ("Candelario"), and Jose Rivera. This action was assigned docket number 13-CV-2394 (the "Gomez Action").

On April 24, 2013, Candelario, Maria Barrios ("Barrios"), and Maryann Lang ("Lang") commenced an action against North Shore LIJ, which was assigned docket number 13-CV-2482 (the "Candelario Action"). On October 22, 2013, Candelario, Barrios, and Lang filed a second amended complaint ("Second Amended Complaint"), asserting, inter alia, claims of hostile work environment, discrimination, and harassment pursuant to Title VII and NYEL, intentional infliction of emotional distress, retaliation, and negligent supervision, hiring, and retention. [Candelario Action, Docket Entry No. 30].

On November 5, 2013, this Court consolidated the Gomez Action and the Candelario Action for joint trial purposes only, with both cases proceeding under docket number 13-C2394. [Docket Entry No. 16].

On January 2, 2014, North Shore LIJ filed a partial motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint filed in the Candelario Action ("Partial Motion to Dismiss"). [Docket Entry No. 18]. On January 23, 2014, Lang voluntarily dismissed her claims against North Shore LIJ without prejudice. [Docket Entry No. 24]. On January 29, 2014, Barrios voluntarily dismissed her claims against North Shore LIJ without prejudice. [Docket Entry No. 26]. Pursuant to the notices of voluntary dismissal, all causes of action asserted by Lang and Barrios in the Second Amended Complaint were dismissed without prejudice. [Docket Entry Nos. 25, 27]. Accordingly, all points in North Shore LIJ's Partial Motion to Dismiss regarding causes of action asserted by Lang and Barrios are now moot. Now before the Court are the remaining points in North Shore LIJ's Partial Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint - Points I and III.[2] For the reasons set forth below, Points I and III of North Shore LIJ's motion to dismiss are granted.

I. Background[3]

Candelario alleges that she was employed by North Shore LIJ from 2000 through September 18, 2013, and "held the positions of Nurse's Aid and Medical Records Registrar, " (Second Am. Compl.¶ 11). According to Candelario, Gomez "touched [her] hair and body, and spoke and looked to/at her in manners of a sexual nature on numerous occasions" between 2005 and 2012. ( Id. ¶ 13). Candelario further alleges that "[s]ometime in the winter of 2010-2011, " "Gomez grabbed [her] by her arm, pulled her to his side and kissed her on the lips without her permission or consent." ( Id. ¶ 15). Candelario also alleges that, between 2005 and 2012, she "observed Gomez blow kisses and present elevator eyes' to female employees and female patients as young as ten years old, " and "offer food and gifts to female employees as an excuse to be in areas where female employees would congregate." ( Id. at ¶¶ 16-17).

According to Candelario, between 2005 and 2012, she "informed Gomez that she did not want him touching her, speaking to her about anything not work related, or looking at her in inappropriate ways." ( Id. ¶ 18). Candelario further alleges that, between 2005 and 2011, she informed North Shore LIJ "about Gomez' continued sexual harassment of her, coworkers and patients." ( Id. ¶ 19). On November 9, 2011, "Candelario complained to [North Shore LIJ] in writing about Gomez' continued sexual harassment, " yet "[North Shore LIJ] never adequately addressed Gomez' behavior and said behavior continued." ( Id. ¶¶ 20-21).

Candelario alleges that on or about January 18, 2012, "[North Shore LIJ] notified [her] in writing that her complaints were unfounded" and her "behavior had been investigated as well and that she needed to conduct herself in accordance with workplace policies." ( Id. ¶ 23). Furthermore, Candelario claims that she was informed by North Shore LIJ "on numerous occasions that she (Candelario) should cease making complaints about Gomez." ( Id. ¶ 24).

According to Candelario, she "worked in a hostile environment" and "feared going to and being at work by having to see and be near Gomez and having to work for managers and supervisors of [North Shore LIJ] who ignored her (Candelario's) complaints and outcries and suffered while at work and while at home." ( Id. ¶¶ 26-27). Candelario alleges that she suffers from physical and emotional distress "as a result of [North Shore LIJ's] failure to address her complaints." ( Id. ¶¶ 28-29). Candelario obtained a right to sue letter from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February 2013. ( Id. ¶ 30).

On September 18, 2013, Candelario's employment was terminated for a payroll discrepancy, "in which it was alleged that Candelario had put in for two hours of overtime on August 9, 2013 for which she had not worked." ( Id. ¶¶34-36).

Candelario asserts the following claims against North Shore LIJ: (i) hostile work environment, discrimination, and harassment in violation of Title VII (Count I); (ii) intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count IV); (iii) retaliation (Count VII); (iv) harassment pursuant to NYEL (Count X); (v) retaliation pursuant to NYEL (Count XIII); and (vi) negligent supervision, hiring, and retention (Count XVI).

North Shore LIJ has filed the instant Partial Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), seeking, inter alia, dismissal of Counts IV (intentional infliction of emotional distress) ...


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