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Rivera v. Balter Sales Co.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 1, 2014

WILLIAM RIVERA, Plaintiff,
v.
BALTER SALES CO. INC. et al., Defendants

For William Rivera, Plaintiff: Christopher L. Van De Water, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Arce Law Group PC, New York, NY; William Gordon Kaupp, Arce Law Group, New York, NY.

For Balter Sales Co. Inc., Mark Balter, individually, Lori Balter, individually, Michael McGuire, individually, Defendants: Lisa Marie Sofio, Hollyer Brady LLP, New York, NY.

Memorandum Opinion And Order

LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff William Rivera (" Plaintiff") brings this employment discrimination action against his former employer, Balter Sales Co. Inc. (" BSC"), his former supervisors, Marc Balter[1] (" Marc") and Lori Balter (" Lori"), and an attorney for BSC and the Balters, Michael McGuire (" McGuire") (collectively, " Defendants"). Plaintiff asserts a claim for failure to provide leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (" FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § § 2601 et seq.; claims for failure to provide reasonable accommodation pursuant to the New York State Human Rights Law (the " NYSHRL"), N.Y. Exec. Law § § 290 et seq., and the New York City Human Rights Law (the " NYCHRL"), N.Y.C. Admin. Code § § 8-101 et seq.; employment discrimination claims pursuant to the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § § 12101 et seq., the NYSHRL, and the NYCHRL; and a claim for aiding and abetting discrimination pursuant to the NYSHRL. Plaintiff also asserts a false arrest claim under New York common law.

Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's FMLA claims (First and Second Causes of Action), the NYSHRL claim against Defendant McGuire for aiding and abetting discriminatory conduct (Seventh Cause of Action), and the false arrest claim (Eleventh Cause of Action), pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

The Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1331 and 1367. The Court has considered carefully all of the parties' submissions in connection with the motion. For the following reasons, the Court (i) grants Defendants' motion to dismiss the FMLA claims; (ii) denies Defendants' motion to dismiss the NYSHRL claim against Defendant McGuire; and (iii) denies Defendants' motion to dismiss the false arrest claim.

Background

The following facts are taken from the Complaint and are presumed to be true for the purposes of this motion. On or about October 12, 2000, Plaintiff began working full-time for BSC. Marc and Lori Balter were owners of BSC, and had supervisory authority over Plaintiff. When Plaintiff was hired, he informed Marc and Lori that he had diabetes. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-28.)

Plaintiff underwent surgery for treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer on two occasions, in June and December 2011 respectively. Contrary to his doctor's instructions, he was not put on light duty when he returned to work. He was also harassed by Defendant Marc at work. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 29-40.)

On or about April 27, 2012, Plaintiff informed Defendants Marc and Lori that he needed to go to the hospital immediately because his foot was hurting. Marc responded, " If you walk past this line, you're fired." (Compl. ¶ ¶ 41-42.) Plaintiff left the premises to go to the doctor. He was terminated immediately thereafter. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 43-45.)

Plaintiff adds that he submitted affidavits on two separate occasions, on or about February 9, 2012, and January 16, 2013, in support of his former co-worker, Raymond Rosas, who had filed employment discrimination claims against Defendants BSC, Marc and Lori Balter. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 54-57.)

On or about October 15, 2012, Plaintiff filed a charge of disability discrimination and retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (" EEOC") (EEOC Charge No. 520-2013-00169). (Compl. ¶ 5.)

A mediation session was scheduled on March 19, 2013, for Plaintiff's EEOC charge. On or about March 18, 2013, Defendant McGuire and EEOC Mediator, Deborah Reik, participated in a telephone conference in anticipation of the mediation. When Plaintiff arrived for the mediation the next day, he was arrested by the police on charges of having stolen money from Defendants BSC, Marc and Lori Balter during his employment. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 58-65.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants used the conference call and the mediation itself " in bad faith to lure Plaintiff to the EEOC offices, so that Plaintiff could be arrested under the false accusations." (Compl. ¶ 66.)

Plaintiff subsequently filed another charge of retaliation with the EEOC (EEOC Charge No. 520-2013-01555) specifically for the arrest. In connection with this charge, the EEOC " determined that there is reasonable cause to believe [Defendant Balter Sales] has retaliated against [the Plaintiff] for his ...


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