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Mohawk v. William Floyd School Dist.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

December 15, 2014

HAROLD B. MOHAWK, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM FLOYD SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant

Harold B. Mohawk, Plaintiff, Pro se, Mastic, NY.

For Defendant: Howard Marc Miller, Esq., Jessica C. Moller, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Garden City, NY.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Joanna Seybert, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court is defendant William Floyd School District's (the " District") motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Docket Entry 16.) For the following reasons, the District's motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Pro se plaintiff Harold B. Mohawk (" Plaintiff") commenced this action against the District on April 22, 2013, alleging employment discrimination based on race pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Plaintiff is a Native American male who formerly worked for the District as a security guard. In his original Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, during his employment, an eighth grade, Caucasian male student assaulted him on two separate occasions, but that the student was not disciplined even though the assaults were videotaped and the student admitted to a District administrator that he attacked Plaintiff. (Compl. at 6.[1], Instead, the administrator " terminated [Plaintiff] because [he] refused to except [sic] a bribe to be suspended without pay for two weeks to make false charges disappear." (Compl. at 6.) Plaintiff also claimed that the District lied to a state labor judge to prevent Plaintiff from receiving unemployment benefits. (Compl. at 6.)

On June 19, 2013, the District moved to dismiss the original Complaint for failure to state a claim. (Docket Entry 8.) On March 3, 2014, this Court granted the District's motion and dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff failed to plausibly allege circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination. See Mohawk v. William Floyd Sch. Dist., No. 13-CV-2518, 2014 WL 838162, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 3, 2014). However, given his pro se status, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to replead. Id. at *4

Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 27, 2014. (Docket Entry 12.) The Amended Complaint contains even less factual detail than the original Complaint. It alleges that " [Plaintiff] was assaulted twice by a student who was white and when [Plaintiff] reported it, [the District] ignored [Plaintiff], retaliated against [him] with termination and tried to bribe [him to be quiet." (Am. Compl. at 4.[2], On April 30, 2014, the District moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. (Docket Entry 16.) This motion is currently pending before the Court.

DISCUSSION

The Court will first address the applicable legal standards before turning to the merits of Defendant's motion.

I. Legal Standard

In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court applies a " plausibility standard, " which is guided by " [t]wo working principles." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007); accord Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71-72 (2d Cir. 2009). First, although the Court must accept all allegations as true, this " tenet" is " inapplicable to legal conclusions; " thus, " [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; accord Harris, 572 F.3d at 72. Second, only complaints that state a " plausible claim for relief" can survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Determining whether a complaint does so is " a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.; accord Harris, 572 F.3d at 72.

II. Pleading Standard Under Title VII

Title VII employment discrimination claims are analyzed using the burden-shifting framework articulated by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). To establish a prima facie case of discrimination under McDonnell Douglas, a plaintiff must show that: " (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he was qualified for the position he held; (3) he suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) the adverse action took place under circumstances giving rise to [an] inference of discrimination." Reynolds ...


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