United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SANDRA L. TOWNES, District Judge.
Plaintiff Fiona Greenidge, proceeding pro se, brings this action against defendant New York State Department of Labor, seeking monetary damages for discrimination she allegedly suffered "because of [her] last name" and "family heritage." Attachment, p. 2. Plaintiff's pleading does not allege that plaintiff was ever employed by defendant, but only that defendant discriminated against her by denying her unemployment benefits. Nonetheless, the pleading specifically alleges jurisdiction pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Court grants plaintiffs request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. However, for the reasons discussed below, the complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. This dismissal is without prejudice to pursuing in State court whatever remedies plaintiff may have under New York Unemployment Insurance Law.
The following facts are drawn from plaintiff's pleading, the allegations of which are assumed to be true for purposes of this memorandum and order. Plaintiff is a United States citizen who has worked over the past 21 years. On at least two occasions during that period, plaintiff has been unemployed. Plaintiff apparently applied to defendant for unemployment insurance benefits ("UIB") sometime in 2005 and again sometime prior of July 29, 2013.
On both occasions, plaintiff experienced difficulties in obtaining the UIB to which she was entitled. In 2005, she had to "go to a Hearing" in order to obtain the benefits. Attachment, p. 2. An Administrative Judge ("AJ") awarded her one year of benefits, but she received only six months of UIB. Id. It is unclear whether plaintiff appealed or otherwise challenged defendant's decision not to pay her UIB for the entire year.
On the second occasion, plaintiff initially received benefits for a period, variously described as one year and one year and nine months. Id., p. 1. When she applied to extend those benefits, she "received an acceptance' letter" which stated that she had been "approved for UIB from 7/29/2013 to 8/3/2014, " but that her "weekly Benefit amount" was $0.00. Id. Plaintiff alleges that during the year that she has "been receiving $0.00... most people received an extension for unemployment benefits for one year, that totalled [sic] two years of receiving N.Y.S. UIB." Id., p. 2.
Plaintiff appealed and twice appeared for a hearing before an AJ who initially introduced herself as Anne Marks, but later claimed to be Dawn Mark. Id. Plaintiff claims that this AJ was "very biased and disrespectful." Id. Plaintiff's complaint makes it clear that the AJ's ruling was unfavorable to plaintiff, but does not indicate whether plaintiff appealed that decision to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.
In mid-August 2014, plaintiff commenced this action by filing the Complaint and the two-page Attachment, described in footnote 1 above. The Complaint states that the "jurisdiction of the Court is pursuant to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Right Act, " alleging that Title VII provides that "The gov't and their agencies should not discriminate against Applicants." The Attachment not only alleges the facts set forth above, but elaborates on the basis of plaintiff's discrimination claim, stating:
I am being discriminated against in NYC and N.Y.S. because of my last name which is Greenidge or Greenwhich as well as... my family heritage. I have been black listed from working on the professional level even though I am a two times [sic] college graduate.
Attachment, p. 2. The Attachment also alleges that defendant's actions violated her "Civil Rights and Constitutional Rights, " id., p. 1, but does not elaborate further. The only remedy requested by the Complaint is "Monetary Damages" of some unspecified amount.
Standard of Review